Feel the love...
Feb 10, 2015This Saturday is Valentine's Day. A day of significance for love birds everywhere but also a day that holds significant opportunity for retailers. For example, did you know that Valentine's Day is actually a conspiracy that was jointly motivated by a consortium of chocolate manufacturers, greeting card stores and florists? I am, of course, joking but there is no doubt that the celebration of love has become a highly commercialised feast.
In the US, about 190 million Valentine's Day cards are sent each year. And that figure does not include the hundreds of millions of cards school children exchange. The average Valentine's spend has also increased. Data released from the National Retail Federation suggests that total Valentine's spending is set to reach an all-time high hitting $18.9 billion in the US. According to the survey, the average person will spend $142.31 this year compared to $133.91 in 2014.
According to a survey published by Postcode Anywhere this surge on online spending is expected to hit a peak on February 13th as the last-minute shoppers go online to secure the perfect gift (by the way the irony of 'last-minute' and 'perfect gift' wasn't lost on me but we shan't dwell on the habits of men, I mean, people!)
Discussing the Postcode Anywhere survey Guy Mucklow, chief executive of Postcode Anywhere. "Online sales in the US and UK have continued to rise considerably year-on-year in the run-up to Valentine's Day. With almost £1billion now being spent on gifts and going out in the UK, Valentine's Day has firmly established itself as one of the biggest retailing events of the year."
Valentine's Day continues to increase in its popularity everywhere. Until recently Valentine's Day in India was men trying to woo women with red roses. However, nowadays Indian men and women have become increasingly more adventurous with their expressions of love expanding their gift choices and causing a subsequent eCommerce spike.
In 2013, Valentine's Day spending in India was estimated at INR 15 billion and projected to grow at 25% in 2015. February 14th has become one of the three major shopping festivals along with Diwali and Raksha Bandhan. This is thanks to a series of commercial holidays around the theme of love starting with Rose Day on February 7th followed by Proposal Day, Chocolate Day, Teddy Day, Promise Day, Kiss Day, and Hug Day all culminating into Valentine's Day on February 14th.
The challenge of Valentine's Day for retailers is the last-minute nature of the majority of purchases and, therefore, the narrow window of opportunity. It is not just having the right product range but also the ability to get it to the lucky recipient in time. And, funnily enough, that is where we could just be your match made in heaven…
Did you know?
- Saint Valentine's Day is also known as Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine
- In China men traditionally give women chocolate, flowers of both to the woman he loves and the celebration is referred to as the Qixi Festival, 'lover's festival', Double Seventh Festival, the Chinese Valentine's Day, the Night of Sevens, or the Magpie Festival. It is an important celebration for young girls and celebrates the annual meeting of the cowherd and weaver girl in Chinese mythology. It falls on the seventh day of the 7th month on the Chinese calendar so as not to coincide with the Chinese New Year.
- In France, a traditionally Catholic country, Valentine's Day is known simply as "Saint Valentin", and is celebrated in much the same way as other western countries.
- In Spain, Valentine's Day is known as "San Valentín" and is celebrated the same way as in the UK, it is however not celebrated in Catalonia.
- In Finland Valentine's Day is called Ystävänpäivä which translates into "Friend's Day". As the name indicates, this day is more about remembering friends, not significant others.
- In Estonia. Valentine's Day is called sõbrapäev, which has the same meaning .