Valentine’s Day: It’s not all about flowers and chocolate

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166150500Cupid is bearing down on me again, and I’m still only thinking about what gifts to give my wife and daughter for Valentine’s Day. At this point, I’m hoping for divine inspiration. Based on holiday shopping research we conducted in November, I’ve learned that the gifts women expect to receive from their significant others too often are not the gifts they actually receive.

Uh oh. I should have paid attention sooner.

I did supplemental research about Valentine’s Day specifically, and I learned a lot that echoes back to our November research. Traditionally, most people think a card, some chocolates, maybe wine and dinner at a fancy restaurant is what’s expected by their sweetheart.  But, according to a recent survey from RetailMeNot, 65 percent of respondents prefer a low-key Valentine’s Day dinner instead of going to an upscale restaurant. I was surprised to discover that more women than men want to order takeout and stay home (34 percent vs. 23 percent).

So, how is it that men are so out of sync?  I think it reflects the fact that we don’t listen and understand what the most important people in our lives really want. We shift into what’s-expected mode instead of actually paying attention to daily routines and engaging on a personally meaningful level.

It’s no different with retailers. We read regularly that retailers need to provide discounts and deals in order to attract and retain customers.  But, that’s not always the case.

There are many different ways for a retailer to meaningfully interact with customers. Offering excellent customer service and providing information and “how-tos” based on products they already bought or considered could lead to the next sale, too.  That level of intimate understanding turns a one-time customer into a lifetime customer and brand advocate. Customer analytics is the catalyst that can cause that shift.

I wonder if I can get the home version of SAS Analytics and apply it to my household? Good thing I have 1-800-Flowers.com on speed dial.

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About Author

Alan Lipson

Principal Product Marketing Manager

I’m Alan Lipson, the Principal Industry Marketing Manager for the Retail and Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industries. I’m here to help retail and CPG companies get the most out of SAS Analytics, whether you’re seeking to plan better assortments, set a better pricing strategy, or connect to consumers in a more meaningful way. You can connect with me by subscribing to my RSS feed, or through Twitter at @SASRetail. You can also follow me personally on Twitter at @alanlipson and on LinkedIn.

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