It's the perfect occasion to draw in some new business, cherish frequent customers and rekindle the romance with customers who may have fallen out of love. Here are our tips for driving sales this Valentine's Day. 

Lovable limited-edition products 

Limited-edition products are only around for a short period, which creates a sense of urgency for customers. Such tension of 'now or never' can give your sales a serious boost. A Valentine's Day product, for instance, has a definite deadline after which it will no longer be sold, which encourages customers to try it or risk missing out. Starbucks has mastered this with their range of enticing seasonal drinks which attract customers into the stores and allow them to upsell. Consider offering a limited-edition Valentines version of your products this year. 

A romantic reinvention of the menu 

Restaurants do major business on Valentine's Day, and many go out of their way to create a whole romance-themed menu. High-end restaurants offer extensive set menus (with an accompanying increase in prices). Even fast casual restaurants get in on the action with heart-shaped foods and red coloured desserts. It doesn't need to be expensive, either - a little creativity is all it takes to turn an existing dish into a Valentine's Day special. 

Don't forget about all of the single people at home, either, who might be more inclined to distract themselves with some food delivery. A special discount for delivery items might be just what the lonely-hearted need to cheer themselves up. 

Passionate promotions

One of the more obvious steps that businesses can do is offer deals and promotions. Making the right choices, however, requires some careful planning. Companies should begin with the decidedly unromantic step of reviewing their sales numbers online to determine what products are most popular. Then design the promotion (considering where it is on your website and how you decorate your stores) to bring attention to the deals. On the day, people will automatically look for heart shapes in red and pink, and an eye-catching display can go a long way. 

You can even use promotional tactics which encourage sharing to encourage more people into your stores. Consider doughnut chain Krispy Kreme's 'Share the Love' campaign in the US - if customers purchase a dozen doughnuts, they also receive Valentine's day cards with a coupon for one free doughnut. It brings new customers into the store where they could be upsold, as well as establishing a little love for the brand.

Give your loyalty program some love

With so much else to focus on, it's not surprising that many businesses neglect their loyalty programmes. Automating your loyalty programme enables you to provide personalised discounts to individuals at a massive scale, and a focused, data-driven loyalty programme brings invaluable data while making your most frequent customers feel good. 

Planning out a strategy - from limited-edition items to custom menus and themed promotions - can put your business in a prime position this Valentine's Day. What's more, all of these tactics are replicable for other special days in the calendar. Get prepared this time, and you can use all these tactics again throughout the year.

By Jurgen Ketel, Managing Director EMEA, Givex