Feb 17, 2022
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​Digital sales now central to Valentine’s Day success - report

Feb 17, 2022

Online retailers felt the love on Valentine’s Day. UK digital revenues, traffic and customer engagement before the 14 February event all improved this year, latest data from Wunderkind shows.

Image: Pexels

“This uptick in [Valentine’s Day] digital demand underlines the permanent shift to digital-first buying behaviours we’ve witnessed”, the report said.

UK online revenues rose 0.2% year-on-year on Valentine’s Day, which may not seem like a lot, but digital demand clearly remained buoyed compared to last year’s ‘virtual only’ lockdown event even though stores are now fully open.

That meant traffic to UK sites ahead of the day were up 33% year-on-year and by 39% on pre-pandemic levels. The biggest spike in web browsing took place on 13 February when visits rose 10% on the daily average for the month.

Demand for romantic gifts and gestures grew year-on-year, with UK shoppers tipped to have spent £1.37 billion on this year’s Valentine’s Day, up from a reported £926 million spend last year.

Online sales were also helped by “category evolution and expansion”, as demand for anti-Valentine’s alternative gestures and cards for pets rose.

Meanwhile, online revenues remained ahead 0.2% year-on-year for the two weeks leading up to the event (1-14 February), with shoppers adopting an either/or approach to romantic gift shopping, “either choosing to buy early in February, or making the most of last-minute gift purchases".  

The most significant online sales spike took place on 2 February, when digital revenues rose 99% on the daily average for the month, followed by a last-minute dash on 13 February, when digital revenues rose 72% compared to the daily average.

Jon Halley, Regional VP, EMEA at Wunderkind, said: “The sustained level of accelerated online demand we’ve seen around Valentine’s Day this year is testament to the central role digital now plays in consumers’ buying journeys. 

“This is especially evident when you consider the uplift in both traffic and revenues this year compared to 2021, when Valentine’s Day was a virtual-only affair due to stores being closed during lockdown. This uptick in digital demand underlines the permanent shift to digital-first buying behaviours we’ve witnessed.”

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