When Gearing Up For Valentine’s Day, Don’t Fall In Love With Stereotypes

As retailers prepare for Valentine’s Day this week, they should be sure to monitor purchasing trends before basing potential sales off of stereotypes.

For instance, 88% of male gift givers think it’s important for a Valentine’s Day present to be sentimental, which is actually a higher rate than female givers (75%), according to customer analysis platform provider Vennli. Further debunking the day’s stereotypes, male gift givers are 22% more likely to prioritize romantic gifts, whereas female gift givers are 17% more likely to emphasize practicality.

In another example of stereotypes being discredited, Millennials are showing that they have no plans to spend frugally on Valentine’s Day. More than half of Millennial men (58%) and 28% of Millennial women plan to spend more than $100 on Valentine’s Day, according to data from dunnhumby.


One stereotype does remain the same, however: consumers still love buying traditional Valentine’s Day gifts. The dunnhumby survey revealed that the most popular gifts for the day still are:

  • Greeting cards (41%);

  • Chocolates (39%); and

  • Flowers (31%).

Total consumer spending on Valentine’s Day 2016 is expected to reach $19.7 billion, according to data from the National Retail Federation (NRF), so the day is not an occasion retailers should be selling short. With subscription retailing gaining traction as part of the day’s hype, retailers must understand that Valentine’s Day is slowly becoming more of an event than a one-time gifting opportunity.

The Vennli survey, which analyzed 276 Valentine’s Day gift givers and 173 gift recipients to measure the alignment of givers’ notions and consumer desires, revealed more key statistics that retailers should take note of as they prepare for the spending day:

  • 20% of dating app users say they would give a Valentine’s Day gift to a match;

  • 37% of women say they would not appreciate a gift card at all;

  • 81% of female recipients would appreciate jewelry, but only 26% think they’re likely to get jewelry; and

  • Less than 20% of men plan to give jewelry to their significant other.

Retailers also should gear more of their Valentine’s Day promotions to “newer” relationships, the survey indicates. As many as 81% of recipients in new relationships think it’s important to get a creative gift, compared to only 57% of married respondents. Instead, married gift recipients placed a higher importance on gifts that demonstrate their spouse’s knowledge of their personal preferences.

The dunnhumby study seconds the idea that relationship length is a factor in the amount of money that gets spent for the day. Those in newer relationships — those defined in the time frame of one to five years — were the most likely to buy an experience for a Valentine’s Day, choosing an adventure such as kayaking or a cooking class. On the other hand, 21% of respondents in a relationship at least 16 years said they would give nothing during the day.

Featured Event

Join 5,000+ attendees for an immersive experience where you can get inspired by retail’s most innovative minds and see their big ideas in action. Use code RICE25P04 to save up to $500 on your pass!

Free Expo Pass for Retailers and Brands!
Save up to $500 on your All-Access Pass and choose from 100+ sessions with an exclusive Retail TouchPoints discount!



Access The Media Kit


Access Our Editorial Calendar

If you are downloading this on behalf of a client, please provide the company name and website information below: