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For years now, the UK’s enthusiasm for Valentine’s Day has been dwindling.

Even with a spike in participation during the pandemic - absence clearly does make the heart grow fonder - total spend dropped to £23 per person, down from £35 per person in 2020.[1]

There's been much speculation as to why this could be. Rising anti-consumerism? Maybe; Black Friday has been the victim of a similar attitude shift in recent years. The rise of casual dating? Certainly likely; in 2016 as many as 72% of couples said they would rather stay in and watch Netflix than go out.[2] Or perhaps shoppers are just tiring of the same old cliches, on the same old day.

So what can retailers do to capitalise on Valentine's Day this year? Well, just like the couples going through a rough patch, it's time to spice things up.

Renowned florist and DHL customer Bloom & Wild, for example, are spicing up their Valentine's Day offering by urging shoppers not to buy roses. Instead, encouraging purchase of bespoke bouquets. "We know that love isn't all perfect red roses. It's a more complex bouquet than that," their site reads, "That's why this year we've designed a unique range, full of flowers to suit every relationship."[3]

Here's a few other ways relaters can look to spice things up this Valentine's Day.

The experience economy

Although gift spend is down, consumers are still willing to part with their cash for an experience. In fact, more than half of consumers (52%) would rather pay for a good experience than splash out on material possessions.[4] The same number (52%) would choose to tell their friends about an enjoyable brand experience.[5] If retailers aren't already, a great way to start shaking things up is by offering more experiences.

Last Valentine's Day, Marks & Spencers added to their Sparks Live programme with a wine tasting event hosted by Fred Sirieix on Instagram. This included featuring Sirieix's 'most romantic wine' choice that you could order online direct from the retailer. This event boosted sales of the retailers' Valentines-themed products in-store and online.[6]

With more and more couples searching for experiential gifts, this could be the way to go for retailers looking to profit from Valentines Day this year.

Not just for couples

Galentine's Day grows in popularity each year; American's spent over $886 million on gifts for their pets in 2020[7]; and in 2021, 20% of shoppers self-gifted.[8] The definition of Valentine's Day is broadening so, likewise, retailers should look to broaden their offering beyond 'couple-y gifts'.

Last year, Tesco launched a Valentine's Day range for dogs in recognition of how pets had helped keep spirits high during lockdown. From bandanas and pet bowls to cards and collar tags, there was "something for every pooch".[9]

Beauty company Olay, on the other hand, leveraged Galentine's Day to boost sales during February. Encouraging their customers to 'Make It A Girls Night', they offered 25% off selected bundles.[10]

Retailers should look to angle their marketing and product offering towards this wider definition of Valentine's Day to capitalise on alternative 14 February celebrations.

Online is king

Not so much advice on how to 'spice things up' as a quick look at the Valentine's Day data. Staying informed on who is buying and how they are buying is a foolproof way to stay ahead of the competition.

Gen Z and millennials remain the largest gift buyers on Valentine's Day.[11] They prefer to shop online. These shoppers are influenced by exclusive digital content, click and collect delivery, and social media purchase options.[12] If retailers still want to profit from the shoppers in love with Valentine's Day, these options should be available.

Research also shows that men spend on average almost double the amount that women do on Valentine's Day,[13] and 47% of men will buy these gifts online at the last-minute.[14] That makes providing a reliable next day delivery service the order of the day.

Best Ever Brownie Company deliver their letterboxable brownies next day with DHL Parcel UK; the perfect offering for online and last-minute Valentine's Day shoppers. "There's a big market for what we do," the company tells us, "It's a nice surprise for not a lot of money. Customers these days are in control of so much; it's great for them to have next day and tracking options should they wish to use them."

DHL offers a choice of next day delivery options and a ServicePoint click and collect delivery - all to help retailers increase sales this Valentine's Day and beyond. To find out more, please visit here


1 Valentine's Day spending statistics 2022, finder.com
2  Netflix could be the key to an amazing relationship', metro.com, 2016
https://www.bloomandwild.com/valentines
4 'Experience economy grows as consumers seek out memories in favour of material possessions', Barclaycard, 2021
5 'Experience economy grows as consumers seek out memories in favour of material possessions', Barclaycard, 2021
6 'The Marks and Spencer wine First Dates' Fred Sirieix says is 'perfect for Valentine's Day'', MyLondon, 2021
7 Market Watch, 2020
8 Valentine's Day spending statistics 2022, finder.com
9 'Tesco launches cute Valentine's Day range for your dog', Manchester Evening News, 2021
10 'How to increase your sales with Galentine's Day marketing', Gear Launch News, 2020
11 'Valentine's Day 2021: A holiday that's flirting with change', GWI, 2021
12 'Valentine's Day 2021: A holiday that's flirting with change;, GWI, 2021
13 32 Lovey-Dovey UK Valentine's Day Facts and Stats, Don't Disappoint Me, 2021
14 'Valentine's shoppers wait till last minute, poll shows', Chicago Tribune, 2013

 


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