• Richard Forbes

Consumer Insights on Valentine's Day

Updated: Mar 2, 2021

Valentine’s Day: the one day a year when Americans show appreciation for each other by purchasing overpriced chocolates, jewelry and other gifts. With the holiday coming up, businesses are doing their best to advertise goods and promote deals. Whether the brand is selling premium chocolates or providing flower decor services, Valentine’s Day serves as a spike for many businesses off season. Competition is steep and consumers are picky, so businesses looking to profit off this holiday should research consumer behavior that is essential for success as a Valentine’s Day marketer. Without a thorough understanding of audience demographics celebrating this holiday, a brand’s marketing approach can fall flat and miss intended audiences.

Key Findings

According to a study conducted by the University of Nevada:

  • 63% of males and 31% of females feel obligated to give a gift to their partner for Valentine's Day

  • Consumers are not getting typical gifts (candy, cards or flowers) for their partners; however, 88% of men and 75% of women in a romantic relationship still bought a Valentine's Day gift

  • 81% of males in a new relationship feel most obligated to give a gift

Consumer Resistances

Resistance refers to the habits that would not contribute profit to a business, like homemade gifts. There are three resistances associated with consumer behavior in this season: gift resistance, retailer resistance, and market resistance.

  • Gift resistance: Instead of shopping for flowers, chocolates or jewelry, consumers look for homemade items or experiences as gifts.

  • Retailer resistance: Consumers celebrate the holiday but do not shop with the intent of celebrating the holiday.

  • Market resistance: Consumers opt to celebrate days after the holiday.

Online vs Offline

Nearly 25% of consumers shop online rather than in-store for Valentine’s Day. While physical storefronts still command the majority of consumer interest, 2021 should be especially interesting due to COVID-19 restrictions. Now is the perfect time to build this online shopping experience as the digital age continues to push consumers farther into the internet. However, if the consumer experience isn’t positive, the brand runs the risk of losing both business and the consumer. Therefore, online initiatives are essential for creating a strong return on investment.

Reaching Target Audiences

Breaking down behaviors by gender leads to some interesting insights. On average, men spend 2.3 times as much on their partner as women do. You might see businesses crafting stronger marketing campaigns towards men rather than women to accommodate this behavior.

Gifts that have been most popular on the “wish lists” for Valentine’s Day tend to stay on the traditional side. Fifty-one percent of celebrants want a night out with their date, 33% want chocolate, and 27% want flowers. As technology continues to play an ever-increasing role in our lives, the nontraditional gift item that 39% of Valentine’s Day participants want for this special holiday is a surprisingly expensive one – a smartphone!

Even though Valentine’s Day doesn’t attract the same attention as Christmas, it is still a major retail opportunity nationwide. With the role of digital platforms becoming more prominent, it is essential for brands to be active on social media and promote their online platforms. Whether it’s a mobile e-commerce site or a promotional social media page, meeting a consumer base where they are most comfortable is essential to marketing at any time of year.

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