How much is Valentine’s Day worth? And how can you get a bigger slice of sales?

Are you hoping to get a sales boost this Valentine’s Day? Find out how much loved-up buyers are spending – and on what. And learn four things you can do to get a bigger slice of those sales. 

Valentine’s Day 2019 was certainly something to celebrate in the USA – by brands as well as romantics. Loved-up consumers spent a record amount of money on the objects of their affections, adding $20.7 billion to the US economy (up from the $19.2 billion spent in 2018). 

So who was spending? The average spend per person last year was $161.96. As usual, men spent almost twice as much as women ($229.54 versus $97.77). The top five purchases, with total spend, were:

  • Jewelry – $5.8 billion
  • Evening out – $4.3 billion
  • Candy – $2.4 billion
  • Flowers – $2.3 billion
  • Greeting cards – $1.3 billion

Over one third of these shoppers used their mobile devices to research products, prices and retailer information for their Valentine’s gifts. They also redeemed coupons and bought products with their device.

How much is spent elsewhere in the world?

In Britain, Valentine’s Day spending jumped to £650 million in 2018, a 25% increase on 2015. In 2019, the most popular Valentine’s gift category was dining out, closely followed by jewellery, flowers, clothes, confectionary and greetings cards.

The biggest spenders are apparently older millennials (aged between 28 to 37) and, as in the US, British men spend more on Valentine’s Day than women. 

In Australia, more than $23 million was spent on on Valentine’s Day in 2017. $13.6 million was spent on dinner, $7 million on drinks and $3.2 million on flowers. Florists in particular enjoyed a 500% increase in sales on Valentine’s Day compared with an average Tuesday that month.

Valentine’s Day is also increasing in popularity in Asia with shoppers from South East Asia spending 33% more in 2018 compared to 2015. Hotels, restaurants, jewellers and florists all benefited from the boost. 

In the Middle East and Africa, there was a dramatic 107% increase in the number of e-commerce transactions in the run up to Valentine’s Day between 2016 and 2018. The biggest winners were flower vendors, who saw a 112% increase.

Four ways you can maximise your Valentine’s Day sales

We know that globally Valentines’ Day is a gift to many brands. But how can you make sure you take a healthy slice of the annual spend this year? Here are four recommendations. 

1) Plan your campaign to fit the purchase cycle

As we explained with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, online retail events usually have a pattern of search, engagement and purchase.

So if you want to ensure your Valentine’s Day campaign brings in the sales, you need to time it around consumer behaviour. 

The sales spikes for Valentine’s Day varies from year to year, depending on which day of the week it falls on. Sales usually start rising a week before, and can often peak the day before. This is particularly true for flowers – most are ordered as late as the day before Valentine’s Day, perhaps signalling last minute panic purchases. 

But, like Black Friday, while searches start building early, conversions rates peak in a narrow window – in this case, the last few days before Valentine’s Day. 

2) Use the right keywords

As you might expect, romance and gift-related search terms increase in popularity as Valentine’s Day approaches. So if you want your campaign to reach as many potential customers as possible, you need to choose sites with the right keywords. 

According to our contextual targeting analysis, the following terms all enjoy a big peak in popularity the week before Valentine’s Day:

  • Flowers 
  • Bouquet
  • Chocolates
  • Valentine
  • Teddy
  • Weekend
  • Romantic
  • Dinner date
  • Valentine cards

3) Retarget potential shoppers

If you want to maximise your Valentine’s Day sales then you need to ensure that your campaign covers the full customer lifecycle. This means using data, creative and investment intelligence to bring new customers into your lifecycle, combining the right message, right time and dynamic creative to maximises sales. And then identifying every opportunity to up-sell and cross-sell, and increase the lifetime value of each customer.

So even if customers don’t buy from you immediately, that doesn’t mean they won’t. We know that shoppers like to look around and compare products and prices before making a decision – sometimes several weeks before. 

It makes sense then to launch a campaign that gets your brand message and key elements of your proposition out early, so you can understand who is engaging and make your marketing budget closer to Valentine’s Day work more effectively by retargeting shoppers with relevant offers. 

4) Use dynamic creative

A dynamic creative campaign can boost your results dramatically. We were able to beat the benchmark by 400% in one travel campaign by tailoring ad messages to the client’s core audience using dynamic audience targeting.

A dynamic campaign for Jazeera Airways achieved a 20:1 ROI. And another creative led but data driven campaign for Moss Bros delivered a 9:1 ROI. We also achieved a 47% new customer rate for Miss Selfridge.

We’ll help you fall in love with your Valentine’s sales

If you want to capture more of the lucrative Valentine’s Day market, get in touch.

We can explain how our proprietary technology and trading expertise can help you to intelligently target users throughout your customer lifecycle, and increase your customer value – on Valentine’s Day and beyond.