Valentines day 2024: Consumer behaviour

This holiday holds different meaning for many, but no matter the sentiments around it, there’s no denying the impact on multiple retail sectors – with purchases made for gifting spouses, partners, and even friends.

We wanted to find out key consumer opinions and behaviours around the day this year, and so we ran some research with the nationally representative Vypr Community of consumers.

1 – Consumer Sentiment

How many people are celebrating Valentine’s Day?

When we asked our consumer sample, 54% said they’ll be celebrating this year, however 16% were still undecided!

Around 59% of those who identified as male said they’ll be celebrating, compared to the lower figure of 49% for females. Females were also more undecided at 19%, compared to 14% of males.

How are people feeling about the day?

We ran a sentiment analysis with our sample to find out.

Nearly half responded positively with many looking forward to an excuse to spend time with their partners, but there were also a fair number of negative responses.

Here are some thoughts from our sample…

“I don’t usually enjoy valentine’s day but this year I get to spend it with my partner so I’m really looking forward to it”

“It\’s very commercial, but can be an opportunity to take stock of what you have and really be grateful for your partner. And more importantly, show them how grateful you are.”

“Not really interested I think love and romance should be spontaneous and not instructed on a set date and time, too commercial”

This pattern of sentiments changed minimally across age and gender groups.

2 – Consumer Shopping Behaviour

Though we saw some negative sentiment above around the commercial nature of this holiday, gifts are still a huge part of the day for many, if not the main way people choose to express sentiments.

This year Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday, and we asked consumers when they’d completed their Valentine’s Day gift shopping.

We saw:

  • 20% completed their gift shopping the week before /earlier
  • 14% completed their shopping the weekend before
  • 19% planned to purchase gifts the Monday before

And we hope that the 6% that voted they purchase their gifts on the day managed to get something nice in time!

What’s the most popular method of gift purchase?

We found out that the majority of our sample (32%) were purchasing gifts in-store.

21% of consumers were purchasing online – less than last year when the figure was 29%.

A small amount were purchasing from other methods such as local / convenience shops and through click-and-collect options.

And what are consumers gifting on Valentine’s Day?

We found that presents (such as chocolates, flowers, and jewellery) were frequently chosen classics, but this year a romantic home-cooked meal won as the most popular gifted experience

When further filtering the results, we saw that most males (40%) chose to gift flowers compared to only 13% of females.