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Valentine’s business promotion ideas, and UAE chocolate and flower markets

Valentine’s Day is the perfect holiday to reach out to your customers even if your business isn’t directly related to the industries that usually benefit from this holiday

Photographers can do quick (socially distanced) 30-minute sessions at reduced prices The premium gourmet chocolate segment is mainly sourced from Europe Fast turn-around-time (TAT) of 90 min from placing an order to delivering flowers is key to this shop

Most people pre and during Valentine’s Day send their subscribers a Happy Valentine’s Day card via email and include a special offer or promotion to go along with it. 

This email functions as a “Thank You” card and gives you a great excuse to reach out to your customers again in a non-intrusive way.

But there is a lot more that you can do.

Valentine’s Day is the perfect holiday to reach out to your customers even if your business isn’t directly related to the industries that usually benefit from this holiday. 

For example, photographers can do quick (socially distanced) 30-minute sessions at reduced prices and these clients may potentially return to you for larger holidays and events, where the real money is.

1. Industry-specific Valentine’s Day Promotions

If you’re a fitness center, host a special Valentine’s Day class for couples, or a post-Valentine’s Day workout to burn off all those sweets.

Restaurants can try a couples’ cooking class, or add a few special lovey-dovey items to your delivery or curbside orders. 

2. Create a Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Create a blog post or downloadable gift guide. This is a great time to promote new products or services, or you can even make gift suggestions for products that you don’t offer at your business. 

A perfect way to build trust with them.  

3. Couples-themed posts, promotions, and giveaways

Get creative and seek from your audience comments with their favorite Valentine “couple” of smartwatches, pants, or travel bags, for a chance to win them.

4. Accommodate last-minute shoppers

More than 60% of Valentine’s Day spending occurs on or within 5 days of the 14th. So your last-minute offers may even see more success than deals offered earlier in the month. Accommodate these shoppers and don’t be afraid to emphasize the “last-minute” “last chance” aspect.  

5. Show the love

Even if your products or services aren’t related to the holiday, you can still carry out creative and effective marketing on Valentine’s Day. Send out an email with a ‘can’t miss’ deal or coupon to show your customers some love. Throw extra perks free of charge. Strengthen your relationship with them and build loyalty. 

Read: UAE accounts for 17% of cyber-attacks disguised as dating apps- Valentine Day’s warning

UAE: Chocolate for every taste

If anyone wants to give a gift to just say “Happy Anniversary”, “Sorry”, or “I love you”, he/she can say it with chocolate.

Inexpensive chocolate goodies that one can find on the shelves of the next-door grocery and supermarkets in the UAE are mainly from Southeast Asia and Turkey.

The middle market segment is controlled by multinationals and sourced from all around the world. There is also a fair degree of local production. It includes a crowd of brands such as Cadbury, Bounty, Hershey’s, KitKat, Mars, Snickers, etc. This segment has the lion’s share in the market, which is estimated to account for up to 80%.

High-end chocolates, or the premium gourmet chocolate segment, are mainly sourced from Europe, mostly from Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, and France. Some also are made here in the UAE.

In the UAE, the chocolate market has an estimated annual business of more than $54.5 million, according to Ata Atmar, general manager of Bateel International, the Saudi-based chocolate brand.

Around 80% of the chocolate in the local market is imported from all around the world.

Chocolate prices vary from one kind to another. The price also depends on the way the chocolate is presented. Prices can range from $27-$54 per kilo right up to $82 – $136 per kilo.

There are a lot of firms dealing with the premium gourmet chocolate retail business. Some of the major retailers in the UAE include Patchi, Godiva, Goodies International, Kikyo, and Bateel International.

 GCC’s online and in-person flower markets

Flowers are a blooming business in the region

Kuwait-based flower and gift delivery service Floward, founded in 2017 by Faith Capital’s Abdulaziz al-Loughani, offers its users fresh flowers and gifts online, a sector that has traditionally been dominated by the offline. 

The startup has been able to grow its current revenue to more than $30 mn a year.  

Floward currently operates in Kuwait, Saudi, Qatar, Bahrain, and the UAE.

Al-Loughani is a Kuwaiti entrepreneur who had previously led Talabat. He had spotted a gap in the GCC cut-flower industry where over 98% of the $1.3-$1.5 billion market was offline.

Fast turn-around-time (TAT) of 90 min from placing an order to delivering flowers is key to this shop.

Dubai could soon be known for its roses

Advanced Horticulture farm, about halfway between Dubai and Al Ain, exported about 3 million roses to Holland in 2019.

The farm, which has four hectares of greenhouses brimming with roses, has the capacity to produce eight million stems a year. 

On average, a rose stem costs 1.25 Dirhams ($0.3), so sales from the farm could reach $2.72 mn a year.

 Advanced Horticulture, the emirate’s largest rose producer, plans to expand in about a year with up to 400 hectares and reach $272 mn worth of flowers a year.

Closer to Dubai, at Sweihan, the National Horticultural Co’s (NHC) property has four hectares of greenhouses where roses, carnations, chrysanthemums, and others are grown.

Yearly production at the farm is expected to average 1 million flowers per greenhouse. The company has a ten-hectare expansion in the pipeline.

 Black Tulip Flowers was established in 1990 and has grown to become one of the largest Fresh Flowers, Foliages & ornamental plants distribution companies in the Middle East.

The company caters to all wholesale and retail distribution channels for domestic and international markets.