Searching for Love in All the Retail Locations

Office romance just took on a whole new dimension — online.

Apparently, the Valentine’s season — just exactly when this manufactured event became a “season” escapes me — has become the time to do your online love-guilt shopping with the office broadband connection. (Whatever happened to the heart-shaped, sitting on the copier Valentines that used to be the limit of February office equipment abuse?)

Oneupweb just completed a Valentine’s Day Online Retail study tracking the search trends of about a quarter million unique visitors to some of our more prominent online retailers. What we found somewhat mirrors what we discovered when we tracked last October through December’s holiday season activity (traffic, conversions, sales). People spend less time shopping online on the weekends – they’re probably having lives and checking out their bad gift ideas at the malls – and more time searching and buying from the office computers on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Peak sales day was Tuesday, February 6th. Apparently, about a week’s shipping time seemed optimum to our office love lights. Traffic continued to rise, however, with the biggest day recorded on Monday the 12th — probably guys who slept through their Cupid wake-up call and are now contemplating overnight shipping as that big Valentine’s clock ticks ever closer.

Clearly, retailers who expect to experience a Valentine’s Day selling surge can learn a few lessons here for next year. Plan your campaigns to start in mid January — might as well get the planners while they’re looking. Torque it up right through the 14th; never underestimate that potential of procrastination. The more cunning among us can buy a few more days until the weekend. Promote overnight shipping for the week leading up to V-Day, and be prepared for your biggest volume on your site during the start of the week.

And what about those of us who have to deal with the results of these seasonal office romantics? Well, in the automotive industry they used to say, never buy a car manufactured on a Friday. What does this tell us about office productivity on Mondays and Tuesdays? “Ah, could you get back to me on, say, Wednesday? Yeah, Wednesday, maybe even Thursday. Thanks.” We know you’ve been waiting all weekend, but believe me, it’s worth the wait.