Valentine's Day is only a month away and for any businesses that are trying to use the holiday effectively, it is time to prepare any and all marketing efforts that might need to take place. With more than 18.9 billion dollars in retail spending last year, Valentine's Day is no joke for offline and online retailers alike who use the holiday as a jumping off point for big profits in the New Year. Part of making sure Valentine's Day generates sales is making sure that marketing efforts are set up efficiently ahead of time. With 25% of Valentine's Day celebrants buying products or services online, businesses need to focus on everything from PPC campaigns to email campaigns, PR initiatives to on-site optimization, in order to get the most out of Valentine's Day marketing efforts. The time to start preparing is now in order to get everything strategically planned out and organized to give your brand and customers enough time to roll out initiatives and make decisions on whether or not a product or service is a worthwhile purchase during the holiday. An essential part of understanding what will work and what won't this Valentine's Day season starts with understanding key buyer behavior. While every business is different, we've compiled some interesting facts about Valentine's Day spending and buyer behavior that businesses can use to properly plan marketing strategies that will get as much love from their customers as possible during this heartfelt day.

Valentine's Day Marketing: A Retailer's Ultimately Love Story

Gifting on Valentine's Day

Perhaps unsurprisingly, 9 in 10 of people who observe Valentine's Day will buy a gift for a romantic partner. What is interesting, and potentially key information any retailer who is planning on targeting gender with a specific marketing campaign, is that men spend 2.3 times as much on their Valentine's Day sweetheart as women. Unlike when the modern Valentine's Day first took hold in the 19th century, most people are no longer spending their money on lace greeting cards and floral decorations. Most individuals now want to spend their Valentine's Day budget on a night out (51% of consumers), a smartphone (39%), chocolate (33%), or flowers (27%). For businesses that specialize in these products and services it is key that messaging is included in marketing material that reflects the idea that a gift is likely to be what their Valentine will want, and that it is a "safe" bet. This will help to alleviate fears that a gift may not be the right one and help add a trust factor within customers to facilitate the final purchasing decision.

Valentine's Day Purchasing

The average amount that each individual spends on Valentine's Day is surprisingly high, at $142.31 per celebrant. While this doesn't necessarily mean that a consumer would be willing to spend their entire budget on a single product or service, this might still come as a surprise to some retailers who assume that their goods were too expensive for the standard Valentine's Day shopper to warrant a standalone marketing campaign during the holiday. With the obvious exception of extremely high end consumer products, these numbers show that a number of higher end retail products and services are very much within the budgets of Valentine's Day shoppers when they might be much too expensive to consider purchasing during the rest of the year.

Valentine's Day vs. Other Holidays

While Valentine's Day certainly doesn't have the same ridiculously high consumer spending of a Black Friday, it still is a major player in terms of "holiday" shopping. With a 2015 spend of $18.9 billion dollars, Valentine's Day accounts for more retail spending than some other established big retail spending days, such as Easter, the Super Bowl, Father's Day and St. Patrick's Day. While Valentine's Day is still dwarfed in consumer spend by the winter holidays, the back to school season, and even Mother's Day, it certainly shouldn't be overlooked by any brand that has products or services that can be easily tied to consumer expectations and behavior to get the most from their marketing and advertising dollars.

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