Love is In the Air!

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The National Retail Federation’s (NRF’s) Valentine’s Day Consumer Spending Survey, conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics, tells us that love is indeed not a dying art. If buying gifts is any indication, there will be more love shown this year than any year since the NRF began tracking spending four years ago.

This year, the average spend per person is expected to be $142.31 for traditional love items such as candy, flowers, cards and apparel, up from last year’s $133.91. The total Valentine’s Day spend for 2015 is expected to reach a survey high of $18.9 billion.

Of respondents to the survey:

  • 53% plan to buy candy, spending $1.7 billion
  • 21% plan to buy jewelry, spending $4.8 billion, a survey high
  • 38% plan to buy flowers, spending $2.1 billion
  • 35% plan on an evening out, spending $3.6 billion
  • 21% plan to buy gifts for their pets, spending $703 million
  • Clothing planned spending, $2 billion
  • Gift card planned spending, $1.5 billion

The most frequented spots to go for gifts will be discount and department stores (35% and 36%, respectively), specialty stores (19%) and florists (19%). A full 25% of those surveyed plan to shop online and 14% plan to visit their local boutiques.

In the US, women will get the lion’s share of the spoils, as men plan to spend nearly double that of women ($190.53 vs. $96.58), and the largest spending age group is adults 25–34 years old with an average sped of $213.04.

The NRF also expects online spending to be up 13% over last year.

Because Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday this year, we could see an increase in last-minute sales as well as increased spending for date night scenarios including restaurants, movies and special events such as concerts, dinner cruises or weekend getaways.

The key is to be prepared to implement fulfillment strategies to meet last-minute demand such as in-store pickup or same-day deliveries, and to deal with winter weather conditions that could affect shipping efficiency.

Social media hashtags that are currently trending:

  • #Boycottranks just below #love but higher than #gift and #giveaway this year
  • #Handmade and #Etsy are among the top 15 most-referenced hashtags within the past 7 days
  • #Romance doesn’t even crack the tTop 20 most-used hashtags for any age group
  • #PromotingWomen saw noticeable traction with older audiences during our analysis, drawing interesting comparisons to the domestic violence conversation spearheaded by younger demographics
  • “What’s Old Is New Again.” While brands work hard to publish original content each day, Tumblr’s audience tends to recycle past content.  Some of the most engaging posts were originally created a year ago

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