What do customers want on Valentine’s Day?

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Valentine’s Day What do customers want on Valentine’s Day?

Published on 07.02.2023 by Philippe Mettler, Head of Digital Commerce, Swiss Post

Valentine’s Day remains an important date in the calendar for many lovers. And it is too for many (online) retailers. To find out exactly what Valentine’s Day means for retailers, we consulted some statistics and spoke to one company, Fleurop, that knows all about it.

Some days of the year are particularly important for retailers. Christmas has of course been one of them for a long time. But for some years now, there have also been other dates like Black Friday or Cyber Monday. And then there’s also Valentine’s Day. The origin of today’s Valentine’s Day was a commemorative day in honour of St Valentine. The day was introduced in the year 469, but was removed from the Roman general calendar in 1969. The historical evidence for the person of Valentine is rather vague. After the Second World War, the custom developed in Europe for lovers to give each other flowers or other small gifts on Valentine’s Day.

Statistically speaking however, Valentine’s Day is only relevant for a very few of us. Only about a third of women and a quarter of men claim that Valentine’s Day is important to them. Nevertheless, in one way or another, many partners give each other gifts on Valentine’s Day. Unsurprisingly, almost a quarter of all Valentine’s gifts are flowers and plants. But many other categories follow close behind. Visits to restaurants, gifts such as perfume or jewellery, or simply spending time together are very popular. The differences in gifts between the sexes are not very big. Sweets and chocolates or home-made gifts, however, are somewhat more popular with women. 

The answer to what the most unpopular Valentine’s Day gifts are has already been provided statistically. Household items are especially unpopular, such as furniture, domestic appliances and electrical devices. But money doesn’t go down well as a gift either. Avoidable Valentine’s classics such as fluffy toys or sex toys also have a bad reputation with both women and men.

For some retailers, an assortment of gifts well adapted to the day can still be worthwhile.  Almost half of the respondents intend to spend more than CHF 30 for Valentine’s Day. An analysis of online shop data has also shown that conversion rates go through the roof – by almost 300 percent – during the Valentine’s Day shopping period!

As statistics should always be taken with a pinch of salt, we spoke to Fleurop, a company that knows all about Valentine’s Day. Rinaldo Walser, Fleurop’s Head of Marketing and Business Development, responded to our questions.

How important is Valentine’s Day for Fleurop?

Festivals such as Valentine's Day or Mother’s Day are indeed important for us. Around 10 percent of our annual turnover is achieved on these days. Christmas is also important, but the big selling days are more spread out in this case. 

It so happens that a large part of the Valentine’s Day business falls on the two days leading up to the event. This means that the day of the week on which Valentine’s Day falls also has an impact. Weekdays between Tuesday and Thursday are much more suitable for us than the weekend. So for us, Valentine’s Day 2023 is very convenient.

Has Valentine’s Day changed over time? Do customers perceive it differently today than they did a few years ago?

Generally speaking yes. But not only for the better, from our point of view. The event is being commercialized from all sides, which means the basic idea behind the day is somewhat lost. That’s also why we work a lot with stories, to bring emotions more to the fore. And not only on Valentine’s Day. But Valentine’s Day is still important today. And we’ve also noticed that after the coronavirus restrictions, the desire to give joy with flowers has increased among many customers. 

Have buying habits changed in recent years?

Partly, yes. And we’ve expanded our range accordingly. Many orders these days are supplemented with other products such as sweets or wine. The sales channels have also changed. Today, around 85 percent of orders are done online. Orders by phone or in specialized stores are now rare.

But we also see that our customers continue to be very diverse, and include all age groups.

Rinaldo Walser

Rinaldo Walser is Fleurop’s Head of Marketing and Business Development.

Philippe Mettler

Philippe Mettler, Head of Digital Commerce at Swiss Post, has many years’ experience in consulting and project implementation, particularly in the fields of e-commerce, web and PIM.

Portrait Philippe Mettler

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