While many people think of Valentine’s Day as simply a commercial holiday for greeting card companies and makers of chalky, heart-shaped candies, a lot of other major brands spend significant resources creating campaigns targeted towards couples. However, considering that over half of all Americans identify themselves as single today, couples only Valentine’s Day marketing campaigns may no longer be the most effective practice.
What makes the idea of marketing around Valentine’s Day so enticing – despite the majority of Americans not directly identifying with what the holiday traditionally stands for – is the fact that Valentine’s Day sales reached a record high in 2016 of $19.7 billion. The reason Valentine’s Day sales rose to this lofty number is because both singles and couples celebrate. Even those who don’t have a special someone still buy gifts for nieces and nephews, co-workers, friends, and pets. For retailers who believe that romance is the only way to market around Valentine’s Day, it’s time to become more inclusive in order to take advantage of the massive sales potential that comes this time of year.
To get a better idea of the best marketing practices to use this Valentine’s Day, take a look at the following statistics complied over at Bing:
- Make the focus of your marketing for single people just as important in your campaign as for those in relationships. While half of U.S. adults identify themselves as being single, over 25 percent of these people plan on engaging in some kind of activity on Valentine’s Day. The average single man will spend $71 on or in preparation for Valentine’s Day, while the average single female will spend $40.
- The majority of Valentine’s Day shoppers look to buy gifts for their friends than their significant other. When users search for “Valentine’s Day gifts for…” using Bing.com, 22 percent complete their search query using the word “husband,” 20 percent type “friend”, 17 percent searched for “boyfriend”, while a shockingly low 4 percent searched using the word “girlfriend.”
- Valentine’s Day marks one of the biggest shopping days for pet owners. Last year, 19 percent of Valentine’s Day shoppers purchased a gift for their pet, accounting for a spending total of $681 million.
- Compared to birthdays and Christmas, shoppers don’t spend much time planning in advance for what they intend to purchase. This means it makes more sense to focus your advertising budget over the two weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day rather than conducting a more traditional month-long campaign. Over 46 percent of Valentine’s Day shoppers report starting to shop during the early days of February.
- Just as with daily shopping habits, more users have started using their mobile devices to shop for Valentine’s Day. The percentage of mobile searches on Bing has increased from 40 to 48 percent between 2015 to 2016. The rate of mobile searches has also increased on Google, which also recently announced the switch to mobile-first indexing. The reasons to increase your business’ focus on mobile marketing just continues to grow.
- Bing has found a nearly 50-50 split between consumers who shop using smartphones and those who shop using tablets or desktops. Consumers who shop using tablets or desktops typically search for branded or handmade items, romantic staples like chocolates or flowers, or restaurants. Consumers who shop using their mobile devices tend to search for engagement rings and jewelry, online groceries, and last minute gifts.
- The number of people shopping online for Valentine’s Day gifts continues to increase every year. The number of online Bing shoppers rose to 28 percent in 2015, while 35 percent shopped in-store and online. If your business’ website or e-commerce platform could stand for an upgrade or redesign, now is the time to capitalize on this growing trend before it leaves you at a disadvantage to your competition.
- Individual satisfaction with gifts received is far lower for Valentine’s Day than during other major holidays and birthdays. That’s because most significant others shop without first receiving input from their partners about what they would like for Valentine’s. This leads many people to receive chocolate, flowers, and candy when they really want a nice meal out or a unique experience.
- While Valentine’s Day has in some ways become just as much about singles as couples, the holiday hasn’t lost all of its romantic mojo. Retailers of jewelry and engagement rings still do a significant portion of their business around this time of year. A remarkable 50 percent of all marriage proposals occur on Valentine’s Day, and Americans spent over $4 billion on jewelry for the holiday in 2016.
- Flowers may be the quickest way to some people’s heart, but 39 percent of people want the gift of some kind of experience – such as a concert, improv comedy performance, or movie – for Valentine’s Day. In 2016, 35 percent of consumers – singles and couples combined – spent over $3.5 billion on experiences.
- Whether getting together with friends or seeking to have a romantic meal, 34 percent of consumers plan on dining out on Valentine’s Day – making the holiday the second busy day for restaurants each year.
- Valentine’s Day provides a great boost to small and local businesses. Bing has reported an increase in local search by 9 percent between 2015 to 2016.
Valentine’s Day may seem to offer limited shopping appeal for many small and local businesses, but as these numbers demonstrate, the holiday has significant potential for businesses willing to market to couples and singles alike. With over $19 billion in sales annually, Valentine’s Day offers a potential untapped revenue source for those willing to expand how they market for Cupid’s holiday. Smartly target who your business markets towards in the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day and you may receive the loving gift of increased revenue that will leave you smiling the rest of the year.