Consumers of all kinds celebrated this Valentine’s Day in multiple ways! 

Once the winter holidays ended, resolutions set in, and the cold days continued, Americans seemed ready and excited to demonstrate their love and appreciation to others on Valentine’s Day. According to an Ebates survey, Valentine’s Day was highly celebrated this year as almost two-thirds (64%) of Americans planned to do something special on this day dedicated to love. Not only did consumers plan on celebrating Valentine’s, they planned on showering their loved ones with gifts. An NRF study revealed that about $19.6 billion would be spent on Valentine’s Day presents. In fact, Valentine’s Day falls as the fifth most popular shopping day of the year, according to Rakuten.com and eMarketer.

Gifts of Thought, Love, and Affection

When it comes to Valentine’s Day, there are specific “go-to” gifts that most people think of such as chocolate and flowers. However, consumers looking to give something more personalized on Valentine’s Day seem to not mind spending a little more to do so. Although both flowers and chocolates were popular selling items, the gift that consumers spent the most on was jewelry. Rakuten.com data indicated the top five accessories purchased were:

  • Watches (56%)
  • Rings (11%)
  • Pendants (17%)
  • Tennis bracelets (11%)
  • Necklace chains (4%)

Jewelry could also be a popular gift because it’s something that will leave a longer lasting memory of the gift-giver’s affection, rather than with flowers and chocolates that tend to only last a few days.

Singles Still Celebrate

For those who didn’t plan on celebrating Valentine’s Day didn’t just stay home and do nothing. Instead, they still took advantage of the holiday by either treating themselves to something special, by purchasing “anti” Valentine’s Day gifts or spending a get-together with family/friends, according to NRF. Consumers love to treat themselves, even on holidays dedicated to relationships, and self-gifting has become a year-round tradition. Single’s Day sales last year grew by 40% YOY (globally), according to eMarketer, and is expected to keep growing in the United States (Singles Day in China actually outperforms Black Friday in the U.S. by A LOT). The 2016 U.S. Census Bureau reports that 45% of the U.S. residents 18 and older are single. With so many consumers being single, and so many consumers who love to self-gift, there is a large opportunity for publishers and advertisers to connect better to all types of consumers, regardless of the time of year.

Last-Minute Shoppers

No matter what season or holiday, it’s important to never count out those last minute shoppers. February 13 was not only a sales peak day in 2018 but was a sales peak day in 2017 as well. Our data indicates that consumers made the largest number of purchases this day, with one of the top products being flowers. This indicates that although there were consumers shopping for personalized gifts like jewelry, there were also those consumers who were wanting to get something quick and small for the special occasion.

The Importance of Customizing Experiences

With all this in mind, it’s crucial to remember that there are consumers on all planes of life. In the case of this holiday, there are consumers that span anywhere from being single, to being in a new relationship to a long-term, serious relationship. Each consumer’s situation will make for different shopping behavior when it comes what Valentine’s gift they will buy.  For the consumer that’s in a serious, committed relationship, they may be the consumer to look for a more personalized gift. While the consumer who is in a newer relationship may want just want to buy flowers. That way they show their thoughtfulness in a small, simple way. It’s important as well to remember the single consumers who don’t have someone they need or want to purchase something for. Because these consumers still end up dedicating time and/or money on the holiday for themselves. When deciding on future strategies and campaigns for future holidays, take Valentine’s Day as an example to prioritize all types of consumers that are looking to exhibit their love in different ways.