February may be the shortest month of the year, but it features not one but two big e‑commerce highlights: Valentine’s Day and carnival. With the cold weather being less than ideal for going on vacation, there are still lucrative opportunities for online sellers to push sales as people around the world are excited to celebrate love and their version of carnival. Let’s dive into everything the second month of the year has in store for retailers and shoppers.

Valentine’s Day

Love is in the air… as is the smell of flowers and chocolates! February 14th marks Valentine’s Day, the so-called day for lovers. Particularly big in the US, this holiday is most likely named after Saint Valentine. He officiated weddings against the will of the Roman emperor back in the third century. In the 1950s, Valentine’s Day made its way to continental Europe.

Flower shops, restaurants and grocery stores benefit the most from Valentine’s Day. In fact, florists sell 4x as many flowers on this holiday as all the other days of the year combined. Other popular Valentine’s Day gifts include vouchers, watches and jewelry.

To stand out from their competition, online retailers should consider offering express or even same-day delivery. Romantic website banners advertising product recommendations also work well. Since Valentine’s Day is now celebrated on an international scale, it’s worth localizing your copy for your most profitable markets.


The word ‘carnival’ comes from the Latin ‘carne’ (meat) and ‘vale’ (farewell). Carnival is a Christian celebration that takes place during the pre-Lent period in February or March. It’s typically a time to party with parades and colorful decorations.

Some of the world’s most popular carnivals around the globe include:

  • Carnaval do Brasil (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
  • Carnevale di Venezia (Venice, Italy)
  • Mardi Gras (New Orleans, USA, & Belgium)
  • Karneval (big carnival cities in Germany such as Cologne and Mainz)
  • Fasnet/Fastnacht (Baden-Württemberg, Germany, & Central Switzerland)
  • Fasching (Bavaria, Thuringia and Brandenburg, Germany)

The pre-carnival season is all about planning and buying costumes, makeup and party decorations. Retailers can use this opportunity to sell product bundles and share inspirational content on the company’s blog, Pinterest or Instagram page.

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day takes place on February 2nd and even has a movie named after it that features Andie MacDowell and Bill Murray. Many Americans celebrate this observance, but it’s not a public holiday. Groundhog Day is based on the idea of the groundhog coming out of the ground to “predict” the weather as part of a public spectacle in Punxsutawney, Philadelphia. If the groundhog sees its shadow, it’s said to be forecasting six more weeks of winter. Whether you’re superstitious or not, Groundhog Day is a fun observance with its own little e‑commerce marketing ideas. The deeper meaning behind Groundhog Day, as the movie teaches us, is that we can learn from our mistakes for a better, brighter tomorrow.


Winter is still in full swing, and the post-Christmas shopping season has finally come to an end. But February brings along new e-commerce opportunities, particularly in the form of Valentine’s Day and a variety of international carnival celebrations. For e-commerce sellers, it makes sense to advertise topical product recommendations, such as gifts, costumes and party supplies, and market them to all relevant international markets to fill up those online shopping baskets.