Valentine’s Day spending is trending upward

February 15, 2014

Consumer spending for Valentine's Day gifts increased this year - and that may be thanks to the use of mobile credit card payment processing terminals accessed online.

Consumer spending for Valentine’s Day gifts increased this year – and that may be thanks to the use of mobile credit card payment processing terminals accessed online. 

The National Retail Federation, for example, recently reported that the average American consumer spent roughly $134 on gifts and dinner for the holidays this year, up by about $3 from the figures recorded last year. Overall, this spending is projected to represent well more than $17 billion in revenue.

These averages are high even despite the fact that less individuals plan to celebrate the holiday this year. Last year, the NRF found that 60 percent of respondents had plans for Valentine’s Day – this year, less than 55 percent of Americans plan to participate.

“Valentine’s Day will continue to be a popular gift-giving event, even when consumers are frugal with their budgets,” said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the NRF. “This is the one day of the year when millions find a way to show their loved ones they care. Consumers can expect Cupid’s holiday to resemble the promotional holiday season we saw just a few months ago, as retailers recognize that their customers are still looking for the biggest bang for their buck.”

Many consumers are purchasing their Valentine’s Day gifts online, additionally, where they’re obtaining valuable discounts and taking advantage of time-sensitive deals. 

“While fewer are planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, millions of shoppers will still  make room in their discretionary budgets to send cards and gifts to loved ones or enjoy a special evening out,” Pam Goodfellow, director for Prosper Insights and Analytics, explained. “Consumers can expect promotions on everything from flowers to date night dinner packages in the coming days, leaving plenty of ideas for those looking to spoil their Valentines.”

The latest IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark report found similar findings, also suggesting that consumers would be spending more on Valentine’s Day this year than they had in the past, possibly as a result of mobile-based purchases. It noted that overall online shopping rose by 8 percent year-over-year in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day this year, with growth being significant in the gifts sectors more than any others.

IBM insinuated that this was likely due to individuals purchasing products from their mobile devices: tablets drove 11.4 percent of sales during the same week, while smartphones accounted for another 5.6 percent, potentially providing the sales boost recorded by IBM and the NRF.

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