It’s time for love and shopping

A look at the trends to charm consumers this Valentine’s Day 

Love is in the air and people want to show how much they care this year to not only to their romantic partners but also friends, family, coworkers and even their pets. This means that marketers have a wider audience to make the most of the Valentine’s Day opportunity for their brand. 

Despite the lingering pandemic, 53% of all American adults are looking to celebrate this day of love, according to a recent survey by NRF. The celebrating goes beyond a heart-shaped greeting card with the average spending per adult clocking in at $175. This opens up a massive opportunity for marketers to take a share of $23.9 billion (a 10% increase compared to 2021), in the US alone. 

 

The average spending for Valentine’s Day in the UK is predicted to be much higher than last year with estimations at $1.87 billion, a 40% jump. Spending projections around the rest of the world are no different. The sheer scale of this opportunity should not go unnoticed by marketers.

Tip for marketers: Retail spending is expected to get back to normal or exceed the pre-pandemic levels for shopping events that happen throughout the year. But marketers need to still factor in changes that have affected the way people shop. The e-commerce boom, introduction of the metaverse, elaborate pre-purchase research, and dwindling brand loyalties will all continue to shape how people make purchases.  

Making it an occasion to remember

While candies, greeting cards and flowers are always up there on the Valentine’s Day staples list, people are feeling the pandemic fatigue and want to venture out for a romantic evening.

We looked at the increases in footfalls around movie theatres (+7% week over week change), dining establishments (+11%) and even major shopping hubs (+6%), which show that we might see a major boom in people heading out on Valentine’s Day and also the weekend before to celebrate.

 

While a significant amount of people will be celebrating their love outside of their home, those staying in are still looking for ways to make the day special. Cooking a fancy meal is a popular idea and we found that there’s a 23% increase (during the first week of February compared to January weekly average) in visits to popular recipe websites. Other trends for at-home celebration include, buying gourmet groceries, wines and themed decorations to set the mood. 

A trend on the rise in the EU and Australia among younger audiences is planning a weekend getaway for Valentine’s Day. Online travel agencies and car rental websites have seen a 13% increase in inquiries for the weekend of 12th-14th February showing a desire for travel to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year.  

Marketers should not forget about the single audiences who are self-gifting on this holiday. What are people treating themselves to? They tend to purchase clothing, accessories and  consumer electronics.

Tips for marketers: We found that 62% of Valentine’s Day audiences globally have been searching for gifts or looking for dining recommendations on mobile devices. Choosing a strong mobile-first approach is smart to bring your brand front and center.

The rom-com phenomenon 

It’s not surprising that interest in watching romantic comedies jumps up around Valentine’s Day. OTT feeds are filled with classic and new releases to entice viewing by highly engaged audiences. With a significant section of the population globally cutting the cord and migrating to OTT platforms, the ability is there to show more personalized content to viewers. 

Valentine’s Day may only be one day on the calendar but viewing of rom-coms spans over a couple of weeks. We see that most couples watch multiple titles, some daily and others over the weekend. Last year, over 472k households in the US watched more than five pieces of entertainment during Valentine’s week. That’s over three and half hours of programming. The most active viewers accounted for close to eight hours of entertainment programming during Valentine’s week.

 

Tip for marketers: With so many people watching romantic movies, adding CTV to your ad mix is a no-brainer. MiQ’s Advanced TV offering provides marketers ways to connect with their audiences through traditional executions with emerging themes. 

Bringing the love to your brand

With billions of dollars of retail spend out there for Valentine’s Day, marketers have the chance to reach a captive audience and drive early momentum in the year. But being smart and understanding how to reach those shoppers is really important. Despite the short lifespan of Valentine’s Day marketing campaigns, you can use this time to develop effective marketing, create better engagement, increase sales, and attract new customers to help your business’ heart grow.