Roses Are Red, Pinks Are Popular...And Sales Are Spiking

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Valentine’s Day is almost upon us! While shelves lined with red and pink are unavoidable at brick-and-mortar stores, small and medium-sized eCommerce retailers also see an uptick in red and pink sales this time of year. Our data team at Stitch Labs set out to learn: when do consumers do the bulk of their rosy shopping? And as a retailer, what can you learn without getting rosy-colored glasses when looking at your inventory?

Red or pink items peak in popularity one week before Valentine’s Day

In the first quarter of 2015, the percent of items sold that were either red or pink peaked one week before Valentine’s Day.

Action Item: Feature your red and pink products on your online store and marketplaces early in the quarter, and make product bundles that offer red and pink items with other, less popular colors such as white or purple. 

Red is consistently more popular than pink

Throughout the entirety of the first quarter of 2015, red contributed towards a larger share of all units sold than pink did. On average, 5.5% of units sold were red while only 4.1% were pink.

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Action Item: You might want to consider ordering more red than pink at the beginning of the year. By tracking and analyzing your past purchase orders and holiday sales trends, you can better forcast which items to order and how many you'll need of each. 

Pink’s popularity is more strongly tied to Valentine’s Day

While red may be the first color that comes to mind when thinking about Valentine’s Day, the holiday actually has a more pronounced effect on pink’s popularity.

Pink exhibited a clear rise in popularity leading into the Valentine’s Day holiday and a subsequent downward dip. At its peak, the week before Valentine’s Day, 5.5% of units sold were pink.

Action Item: Highlight pink products heavily in the weeks leading into Valentine's day, then subsequently bundle pink items with higher selling items after the holiday has passed in order to offset a downward dip in pink sales.

Pink sees the strongest boost in the number of units sold from Valentine’s Day

Compared to the first week of the year, consumers bought 2.67 times more pink items the week before Valentine’s Day. Cupid’s arrows affected red less, with consumers only buying 1.96 times more red items.

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Action Item: Try promoting pink products earlier in the season to lengthen the Valentines buying holiday and gain more value per order. 

Red and pink items’ popularity peaked at different times across marketplaces

Consumers shopping on different sales channels chose different times to stock up on their red and pink V-day gear.

  • On Amazon and on branded websites, items that were either pink or red hit their peak popularity one week before Valentine’s Day.
  • eBay shoppers were the early birds, with red and pink popularity peaking a full three weeks before Valentine’s Day.
  • Etsy split the difference, with these items hitting peak popularity two weeks before Valentine’s Day.

For retailers who overstocked on red and pink items in anticipation of the holiday, there was an upshot. Amazon saw an additional peak in red and pink popularity one week after Valentine’s Day.

Action Item: For Amazon sellers, you’ll want to take advantage of our Amazon Profitability Reports and see how you should be pricing your red and pink products during this peak demand time to really increase your sales.

About the Data

Stitch Labs investigated nearly 1.2 million online orders from over 1,500 small to medium-size businesses that were placed between Jan 1, 2015 and Mar 31, 2015. Only orders placed in USD were included. Popularity is defined as percent of units sold, which is calculated as the number of units sold for a particular color versus units sold for all items that have a color attribute.

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