A Valentine's Day gift box

Valentine’s Day: Appealing to male shoppers buying for women

In 2015, a massive £1.9 billion was spent on Valentine’s Day gifts in the UK. According to Finder, 18.7% of women are likely to spend nothing, compared to men (13.2%) in 2018. Traditional gifts include flowers, chocolates, candles, pampering products, jewellery, and teddy bears. An estimated 24% of spending will be towards jewellery, followed by an evening out (19%).

Modern Valentine’ Day customs appeared in England and spread to other English-speaking countries in the 19th century, and to other countries in the late 20th and earlier 21st centuries. Handwritten notes were the most popular way to communicate messages of love, but soon gave way to mass-produced cards. In 1868, Cadbury created “Fancy Boxes” – a heart-shaped box filled with chocolates, and so chocolates became a popular gift for the holiday.

As with other gift-giving occasions, the calculation for manufacturers and marketers changes, as from a commercial point of view the gifts need to appeal primarily to the gift-giver. Understanding the triggers that make the gift-giver choose a certain gift can help you to create better-selling products. To illustrate the difference between what women would buy if they were shopping for themselves versus what men would buy women as a Valentine’s Day present, we tested five gifts in the £15–£30 range with women and men from our consumer community separately.


Teddy bear set


Prosecco hamper


Forever rose


Leather journal


Bath bombs

We wanted to find out what appeals to men when buying Valentine’s Day gifts for women, and also whether women would pick the gifts for themselves. We ran five Yes/No steers for women, asking if they would buy the given products for themselves. We also ran five Yes/No steers for men, asking if they would buy the same products for a woman. Here are the results:

The results show, in some cases, a considerable difference between men and women. Isolating what this difference means could be very interesting to a product innovation team, and to men buying gifts for their female romantic partners. To learn more about how Vypr’s real-time consumer purchase intent testing can deliver results for your business, contact us today.

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