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Happy Valentine’s Day: What are people buying this year?

Happy Valentine’s Day: What are people buying this year?

Valentine’s day. Let’s face it–some swoon over it, others loathe it. But one thing’s for sure, the “Hallmark” holiday is a big one for marketers and retailers alike.

Shops are stuffed to the brim right now with candy boxes, teddy bears, and roses. And major companies are shelling out big bucks on cheesy ad campaigns. When you see how much goes into the most romantic day of the year, you gotta wonder, who’s buying this stuff?

Well survey lovers, that’s what we found out! We surveyed just over 300 respondents using SurveyMonkey Audience, and it seems as though some Americans may not be as keen on the day as many businesses may think.

Let’s take a look into the hearts of this year’s Valentine’s Day consumers, shall we?

When respondents last year were asked if they’d be celebrating Valentine’s Day, a heart thumping 72% of respondents verified they would. This year, we changed things up a bit and asked respondents if they’d be purchasing a gift for their better half. Only 60% of our respondents in a relationship, and 53% of people married or in a civil union, plan on buying a gift for their partners this year. Oh my.

It’s likely no surprise, however, that in this year’s survey we found 71% of those who have been in a relationship for 2 years or less, and folks ages 18-29, are the most prone to grab up gifts for their sweetie.

Coming in a close second, ages 45-60 were next in line to buy a gift, and were the largest group of softies to think about “Love,” “Chocolate,” and “Hearts” on Valentine’s Day. And people who have been committed 16-20 years may be feeling content enough in their long-lasting love, as this group was the least likely to be buying gifts for Valentine’s Day.

But what about couples with young children? In last year’s survey we found that 60% of 30-44 year olds with kids under the age of 18 were the least likely to celebrate Valentine’s Day. This year, that number raised 5%. And get this—when we looked at the open-ended responses, this age group is also the most likely to view Valentine’s Day as a “scam” or “commercialized” holiday.

So jot down a little love note to yourself with these numbers, dear marketers. This information may come in quite handy when you’re looking at your target audience next year.

When asked what words come to mind when thinking of Valentine’s Day, guys and gals alike overwhelmingly said “Love”. So while many of us wish we could be as romantic as Lloyd Dobler holding a boombox playing “In Your Eyes” to their crush’s window, many-a-lovebird will be running to the stores to pick out a gift.

In fact, 59% of men and 52% of ladies in relationships will be making purchases. So what exactly are men and women expecting, and more importantly, buying?

Well, we found that no matter the gender, most people are opting for traditional gifts this year. The majority of ladies are planning to pick up a greeting card and/or candy for their Valentine. Most gents will be getting flowers, candy and/or jewelry. Then there were the fun and creative types giving less traditional gifts like a kitten, video games, concert tickets, a special dinner cooked at home, and even a cruise!

When it comes to meeting expectations, men and women seemed to be a wee bit out of touch with one another. Men are expecting clothes, and only 15% of women plan to purchase duds. Ladies do expect that beautiful bouquet, but they also expect a card.

Ironically, 32% of men say they expect to receive a card for V-day, but only 25% of men plan to get gushy on paper. Yet 48% of women plan to pass along their feelings via greeting card. Come on fellas, where’s the sentiment?

Well, men just may not be thinking too much about the amorous day. A lot of men wrote in that they simply have no idea what to expect as a gift for Valentine’s Day. Also, 74% of men say that they are not expecting gifts for Valentine’s day.

When it comes to spending the big bucks, gents are planning to outdo the ladies on average. Men will be spending an average of $121.75, where women will be spending an average of $66.10. Mind you, there were a few heavy spenders amongst both genders, with $1000 being the largest amount spent. Perhaps on some fancy jewelry or cruise we mentioned earlier.

That rounds up this year’s Valentine’s Day findings. Avoid making Valentine’s day marketing mistakes next year, and know your target audience. It will ensure that your beloved consumers will remain faithfully yours.

Are you celebrating Valentine’s Day? Do you feel like you and your partner(s) are on the same page? Let us know in the Comments below!