With last-minute and on-the-move gift buying a real (if somewhat depressing) phenomenon, retailers need to ensure they are meeting the demand.

With this in mind, here’s how retailers are targeting Valentine’s Day shoppers on mobile.


Debenhams is targeting consumers early this year, sending out a Valentine’s Day email before the end of January. With a growing number of people using smartphones to check email, this tactic is effective for prompting mobile shoppers.

With a focus on gift guides, the creative is a fairly standard affair.

Debenhams is already promoting Valentine’s Day quite heavily on its mobile site, too, using a prominent homepage banner.

However, the banner sends users straight to the lingerie category rather a general category page. Which is an odd move, as it could be sending mobile shoppers towards items they might not be interested in, which is potentially very disruptive.


Luckily, it also promotes an ‘Editor’s Picks’ article from the Debenhams blog, which points consumers to the various other items on offer.


Firebox is another adopter of Valentine’s Day-themed emails, using a humorous tone and personalisation elements to tempt consumers into clicking through to the mobile site.

Unfortunately, the mobile experience is less than inspiring.

All Valentine’s Day items are lumped into a single category (with no filters for him or her, etc.)


This means users are required to endlessly scroll through potential gift ideas, which could quickly lead to boredom and higher abandonment rates.

It would make sense to incorporate some kind of sorting system, at the very least, to help channel mobile browsing.


H&M is not promoting February 14 too heavily on mobile, choosing instead to include subtle category banners towards the bottom of the homepage.

The curated children’s category is an original approach, which nicely balances out its focus on stereotypical Valentine’s Day gifts elsewhere.

Again, lingerie seems to be a big theme, with an email that oddly relates ‘luxurious’ to skimpy underwear. 

With no indication of any other related categories, this could lead mobile users to assume it’s the only option from H&M.


Last year, sales of flowers increased by a whopping 220%, making it the biggest Valentine’s Day category of all.

Unsurprisingly, many retailers have cottoned on to this, with the likes of Tesco using the category to drive sales on mobile.


While the homepage banner is restrained, Tesco is ramping up the incentives by offering free delivery and a free vase if you order online.

I also noticed that Tesco is now prompting customers to sign up for alerts when new items come into or back into stock – a tactic which could help to turn mobile browsers into buyers at a later date.


Despite a relaunch marred by migration problems, Thorntons is hoping to bounce back with an effective Valentine’s Day campaign.

The creative is one of the most appealing I’ve seen, capitalising on pretty imagery and the sleek new design of its mobile site.


The navigation is somewhat of a mixed bag, however.

While there is the option to sort the Valentine’s Day category by best sellers or price, there’s no option to filter by type of gift, meaning users are left scrolling or searching elsewhere on-site.

House of Fraser

House of Fraser has nicely incorporated Valentine’s Day on its mobile site, making gifts front and centre on the homepage.


It’s also one of the easiest mobile browsing experience I’ve come across, breaking down categories by gender and price. Likewise, it allows users to further filter by type of gift.

Instead of bombarding users with a particular category (e.g. lingerie) or lumping all items together, it aids the mobile journey and nicely showcases relevant items.


Lastly, Lush is a good example of how to use seasonal holidays to drive sales.


By creating a specific range of products for Valentine’s Day and promoting it across all channels, it aims to capture consumer attention and increase spending (even though mobile users might not even be browsing for this reason).

I particularly like how the creative does not mention ‘gifts’, meaning that consumers won’t be discouraged from buying regardless of relationship status.