The FINANCIAL -- Whether it’s a small romantic gesture or an extravagant surprise for that special someone, it would appear shoppers around the globe are feeling loved up, spending more on the most romantic day of the year than ever before.
The annual “Mastercard Valentine’s Day Index,” an analysis of payment card transactions over a three-year period, has revealed that sentimental spending has increased by 49 percent. And while the majority of purchases still happen in person, love is the latest thing to go digital, with a 37 percent increase in the number of online transactions.
If you still haven’t picked up something special for your loved one – you’re not alone. Data showed the majority of Valentine’s purchases happen during a last-minute dash on February 13th, with 47.4 million transactions that day alone over the past three years.
Recent years have shown that the stomach is increasingly the way to one’s heart, with spending in restaurants soaring by 102 percent since 2014.
“While the way we say I love you might have changed in recent years, showing someone you care on February 14 is more popular than ever. The Mastercard Valentine’s Day Index highlights key global and regional trends to hopefully offer retailers some priceless insight into how customers want to spend the most romantic day of the year” commented Linda Kirkpatrick, Executive Vice President, US Merchants and Acceptance.
The study, which looked at shopper behavior in more than 200 territories around the globe, identified some other purchasing trends.
The personal touch still matters: Despite the continued growth of online, 95% of transactions around Valentine’s Day are still made in person. Those in Latin America showed the biggest shift to online, with an increase of 250% from 2014 to 2016, followed by the Middle East and Africa with a 56% increase
Spend most of their money on hotels / motels during the Valentine’s period – 37%, an increase of 33% since 2014
Do 85% of their Valentine’s Day purchases in person, however online sales have increased by 81% in the last three years
Choose to spend the most on restaurants and eating out during Valentine’s Day period – 34%
59% of their spending happens in person (the lowest amount across all regions)
Most of their Valentine’s Day spending goes on hotels / motels – 35%, an increase of 50% in three years
Europeans lead the way in terms of spending online compared to other regions, 19% of their Valentine’s Day spending is done on e-commerce sites
Biggest area of growth in Europe was in restaurants, up by 67% during the Valentine’s Day period in three years
Biggest growth in terms of online spending, up by 250% in three years
Bucked the trend in terms of flowers, seeing massive growth of 271% between 2014-2016
Also saw the biggest growth in terms of splashing out on jewelry – up by 66%
Love spending their money on food, 44% goes on restaurants and has seen the biggest growth across all regions since 2014 – up by 130%
90% of their purchasing still takes place in person
Spending on hotels / motels was also up by 57% over the three year period on Valentine’s Day
Middle East and Africa
Spend most of their Valentine’s Day budget on hotels / motels (43%) followed by jewelry (22%)
Conduct three quarters (75%) of their purchases in person
Also bucked the trend in terms of flower sales, up by 22% over the three year period