Marketing Trends for Valentine’s Day 2021: What We’re Loving

Rosie Johns
by: Rosie Johns

From sending an anonymous card to your crush, to buying an extravagant gift, there are many ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day. What’s trending this year, and what is the Valentine’s market like for the beauty industry? Well, we’ve taken a dive into the search data to answer these questions. Here’s what to expect for Valentine’s Day 2021. 

What Can Google Trends Tell Us About Valentine’s Day This Year?

From 1st January there has been a significant rise in gift-related searches, with ‘gifts for him’ rising to have more than double the volume of ‘gifts for her’ at certain points at the end of January and beginning of February.

Don’t rush to the conclusion that this means women are the main gift-givers, though – what this search data may just show is that we ladies are just a little bit more organised.

In this 2021 report, it’s revealed that men might in fact be the bigger spenders: 55% of men celebrating Valentine’s Day in 2021 intend to spend money, with only 45% of women planning to do the same.

How Much are we Spending on Valentine’s Day Gifts?

You might have thought that with date opportunities at an all-time low, people would be splashing out more on gifts instead this year – but you’d be wrong.

Ditching gifts seems like a growing Valentine’s Day trend in 2021, with more people than ever (26%) saying they won’t be spending any money. With the total UK spend dropping from £1.45 billion to £926 million, this means people on average will be spending £23 each this year (compared to £35 in 2020).

This drop can be explained by a number of factors:

  • With the hospitality and travel industries in lockdown there are less avenues for spending.
  • Some couples don’t live together, so they may not be able to see each other on Valentine’s Day.
  • People may have less to spend due to loss of employment or reduced income.

What Does This Mean for Valentine’s Marketing?

With the shift towards a smaller individual spend, marketers should look to promote small, thoughtful, affordable gifts – as well as more lavish offerings.

For the beauty industry, this shift could be a blessing in disguise. After all, for both “gifts under £10” and “gifts under £20” searches, makeup and skincare products feature heavily in both the shopping ads.

When it comes to organic SERPs, beauty brands aren’t as prominent, being beaten by the likes of TK Maxx, John Lewis and ASOS. So, now is the perfect time for beauty marketers to consider how they might rank for price-related gift searches.

By producing content and optimising pages on a technical level, both visibility and conversions with these gift-givers could see a nice increase.

Valentine’s Day Alternatives

The popularity of Valentine’s Day alternatives is once again on the rise. Most notably, Galentine’s Day (an un-official holiday concocted by Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation and celebrated every February 13th) is one example that has firmly established itself over recent years.

A day for women to celebrate women and show their besties some love, its search volume rose by 300% between 2019 and 2020. We can already see searches on the increase for 2021, and with last year’s peak occurring between February 9th and 15th, we are likely to see a similar spike in the next week or so.

Self-gifting is another trend that is unlikely to go away any time soon. The search term “self gift” has seen a general upwards trend over the past 5 years, but its biggest peak happened in December 2020. Other recent peaks can be tied to lockdowns in April and August 2020, and there have been peaks in mid and late January – indicating this could be an area of interest for Valentine’s Day.

Marketing Ideas for Valentine’s Day 2021

If you want to stand out from the crowd this Valentine’s Day, it’s worth taking some time to think of a great marketing hook.

Keep it Classy

To appeal to more traditional Valentine’s shoppers, think about promoting a product designed specifically for the occasion, like Glossier’s ‘The Perfect Couple’.

The classic message never gets old, so by placing love, couples, hearts and the colour red at the centre of your promotions, you’re tapping into established expectations.

You‘re also guiding unsure shoppers to products that look Valentine’s approved.

It may seem cliché, but ‘love is love’ – and holding tradition can really work.

Give Self Gifting the Green Light

More people than ever are facing an underwhelming – and perhaps lonely – Valentine’s Day this year. As we’ve shown with the search data, self gifting is popular. So, why not tap into the trend by offering something irresistible? Spectrum Collections put self gifting front and centre when they marketed their Mystery Boxes – and they sold out just 5 hours after the initial launch.

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A post shared by Spectrum Collections ® (@spectrumcollections)

Newly designed products aren’t the only way to approach self gifting, either. Why not consider a special discount for the lonely hearts? Or, you market your bestsellers with a self gifting angle.


Another Google-friendly idea is curating content. To rank for gift-related searches, it’s vital your ecommerce site is Valentine’s ready:

  • Make a good first impression: inject some pinks/reds to the homepage and showcase relevant featured products.
  • Make your ads relevant and romantic. Consider the queries that could be used to search for gifts.
  • Spend time updating SEO. Optimising pages to include Valentine-specific keywords will aid visibility.
  • Guarantee timely delivery. This is an important one!
  • Inspire sales through positive, emotional messaging. Share that your users deserve to be treated.
  • Send Valentine’s-themed emails.
  • Create dedicated gifting pages and make sure they are signposted effectively.

Not only can this kind of content provide much-needed guidance for shoppers on the hunt for the perfect gift, it can also improve your visibility in search results.


Blogs are another area to invest in. As well as being great sources of inspiration for your users, shareable blogs will widen your audience and – if they’re really clever – could even go viral. Your Valentine’s topics could include:

  • The most popular Valentine’s Day gifts
  • How to tell your partner what you really want
  • What to get a guy for Valentine’s Day
  • How to celebrate Valentine’s Day in lockdown

Or something wild we haven’t thought of! Really, there’s no limit when it comes to the topics you choose. While making sure to follow search trends and data is always a good tactic, don’t be afraid to go a little out-there with your ideas.

It’s Not Too Late for Valentine’s Day 2021

From a quick website spruce-up to a clever campaign, there’s a lot you can accomplish in the run-up to Valentine’s Day. With the right messaging, your brand can take advantage of the uptick in gifting. So, take these Valentine’s marketing tips and turn them into something love-filled and uplifting.

Want more advice and guidance? Our expert beauty marketing team is here to help. Call us today on 02920 676 747 or email

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