Shoppers will feel the online love this Valentine’s Day

Shoppers will feel the online love this Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is set to deliver a welcome boost for sellers. Sales are expected to reach record highs of  $18.7 billion in the US and £1.6 billion in the UK. A new poll by the National Retail Federation reveals that 30% of buyers plan to shop online.

According to CEO Matthew Shay, ‘’consumers are in a good place when it comes to spending on discretionary items like gifts.”

So what key trends will be at the heart of this year’s love fest?

Can buy me love….

Traditional favorites like chocolate, candies and flowers are perishable, but faster more reliable delivery and Prime options are persuading loved up buyers to leave bricks and mortar.

Art & crafts are set to make a big splash this year with buyers looking for something a bit different. Many shoppers, especially those on smaller budgets, will seek out unique and creative gifts. While 24% plan to treat a loved one to a special ‘experience.’

Last year, the most popular items were:-

  • Chocolates – 53% of Valentine’s consumers bought them
  • Flowers – sales totaled $2.1 billion
  • Nights out – accounted for $3.6 billion of expenditure
  • Jewellery – a total of $4.8 billion in sales

For those of us who can’t decide on one gift for our better halves, gift sets are all the rage. Assortments include boxes, bags and baskets, crammed with indulgent items, gift wrapped to perfection. Chocolate gift boxes were the fastest moving Amazon Valentine’s gifts in 2015 , making up 55 of the highest selling 100 goods. Sales of cosmetics & fragrances, particularly luxury beauty sets, will be predictably strong, with Amazon set to offer discounts to tempt online shoppers.

Valentine’s day figures….

  • Young love – 25-34 year-old’s spend twice as much as over 34s
  • Heartbreak holiday – Facebook status stats reveal post-Valentine’s most popular time to break up
  • Love on the run – 37% of lingerie purchases made on mobiles
  • Stupid cupid – 45% of Americans don’t ‘celebrate’ Valentines
  • Only the lonely – 67% increase in clicks on dating websites on Valentine’s Day
  • Pet love – The UK spent £231 million and America $815 million on pets last time

Around the world….

We’ve been celebrating the Saint Valentine’s feast day since 469 AD, the early medieval period. Yet, we know almost nothing about St Valentine, who is not actually recognized by the Catholic Church as a saint. Although, I’m reliably informed that the remains of the saint are housed in a church in Ireland.

In Japan, it’s the men who receive ‘obligation’ chocolate on the day of love. Americans will spend $90 on average on Valentine’s Day gifts. The Scots spend the least in the UK for Valentine’s, £26 on average.

Many of us feel a sense of reluctance about Valentine’s Day. But one thing that’s worse than ‘having’ to buy a Valentine’s gift to show you care, is not getting one yourself…

Rupert Heather

Rupert brings his eCommerce knowledge to bear with expert opinion and analysis of the ever-changing world of online selling. In his spare time he thinks about product sourcing - really.

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