With all eyes trained on the quarter in progress and the full year ahead, the first of the new year’s bigger shopping holidays – Valentine’s Day – is a scant two weeks away. While many consumers are still recovering from recent Holiday expenditures, this occasion’s appeal to love and friendship is proving hard for consumers ignore entirely — and online shoppers look like a particularly promising segment.
- 60% of US consumers aged 18 and older plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day in some way this year.
- 16% (or almost two in ten) US consumers celebrating Valentine’s Day will use the Web to make at least some of their purchases for the occasion.
- Good news for online retailers: the online Valentine’s Day shopper expects to spend a combined net average of $171.81 on loved ones and friends for the occasion, or two-thirds more than for consumers across all channels ($103.00).
While online Valentine’s Day shoppers still constitute a relatively small segment overall, savvy online retailers will showcase their Valentine’s Day offerings (both product and promotions) to capture incremental mid-winter sales.
- The bulk of Valentine’s Day expenditures is intended for spouses and significant others: online shoppers plan to spend a net average of almost $100 specifically for their significant other or spouse — i.e. 57% more than consumers overall.
- Online shoppers plan to buy many of the same things that other consumers will buy (greeting cards, candy, an evening out, flowers, jewelry), but on average expect to spend somewhat more for each gift type. For example, well over a quarter of online shoppers anticipate buying jewelry for the occasion (quite a bit more so than consumers across all channels, by the way), and expect to spend a net average of $41.34 in this category. That compares with an expected net average spend of $21.52 for shoppers across all channels who plan to buy some bling. Similarly, online shoppers plan to spend more than twice the net average for all shoppers on clothing and gift cards. And while it might be difficult to buy online an entire evening out (theater or movie tickets yes, dinner perhaps not?), online shoppers also plan to spend more on that than do other shoppers.
Will Valentine’s Day portend how the rest of 2010 will go? I doubt that any one occasion can do that accurately, especially in these as yet uncertain times. Nevertheless, it will be an interesting first gauge of how consumers tackle more “discretionary” holiday shopping at least in the first quarter or two.
As always, I look forward to your comments and thoughts!