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Valentine’s Day insights that every marketer should know

Valentine’s Day insights that every marketer should know

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Love is in the air as Valentine’s Day approaches, but it’s not all about romance—it’s also a great opportunity for businesses to connect with consumers and drive sales. So, as we approach this amorous day, it’s essential to understand the intricacies of consumer spending habits and preferences. That’s why we’ve compiled a love letter of compelling Valentine’s Day data to help you understand consumer behavior during this key moment of the year.

1.  Consumer spending habits

According to the National Retail Federation, U.S. consumers will spend an average of $185.81 on Valentine’s Day gifts in 2024. This significant per-person spend highlights a substantial market opportunity.

$25.8 billion
That’s the total amount expected to be spent in the U.S. for Valentine’s Day 2024.

More than half of all Americans intend to celebrate Valentine’s Day, presenting a lucrative landscape for marketers to explore.

Consumers spent an average of $45.75 on Valentine’s Day jewelry in 2022, marking it as the category with the highest expenditure, according to the NRF. Next in line was evenings out, with an average spend of $31.35, emphasizing the value placed on experiences. More modest spending was observed for gift cards and flowers, at $17.22 and $16.71 respectively, reflecting their role as thoughtful yet affordable options. The smallest average spend was on candy, at $15.90, highlighting its status as a traditional and economical gesture of affection. This distribution underscores a consumer trend towards balancing significant and sentimental gifts.

It’s estimated that 87% of all U.S. consumers planned to shop for Valentine’s Day in 2023, marking the highest participation rate among the countries we compared. Spain (71%), Germany (64%), and both the UK and France (63%) rounded out the top five.
Back in 2021, the UK led per-person spending with an average of €96 on gifts, above the U.S. (€87), Germany (€71), Spain (€67), and Canada (€55), showcasing diverse spending habits. This highlights significant cultural and economic influences on Valentine’s Day celebrations and expenditures across these nations, reflecting a global but varied engagement with this holiday.

More than half of consumers plan to gift candy, making it the most popular gifting category. Greeting cards (40%) and flowers (39%) follow closely behind, reflecting timeless expressions of affection. However, while the popularity of most gift categories decreases with age, greeting cards see a rise in preference among older demographics.

2. Demographics and relationship statuses

35-44 year olds
This age group planned on spending the most for Valentine’s Day in 2022, with an average spend of $280. This average spend increases with age until the 35-44 year-old age bracket, while 18-24-year-olds planned $170. However, a steep decline was observed in the older age brackets, as those aged 65+ intended to spend an average of $87 for the holiday. This pattern reflects a combination of increased financial stability but also the value placed on celebrating the holiday among those in the 35-44 age group, who contrasted with a more conservative approach to spending among older demographics.

More than half of Valentine’s Day shoppers favored in-store purchases in 2023, highlighting a preference for physical retail experiences, while 23% opted for a hybrid approach that combined online and in-store shopping. This indicates a consumer preference for the tactile and immediate shopping experience offered by physical stores for holiday purchases.

3. Changing trends

In 2023, 43% of consumers responded to inflation by choosing lower-cost Valentine’s Day gifts, highlighting the direct impact of rising prices on consumer spending habits.

Just over a fifth of consumers adjusted their celebration plans due to financial concerns, preferring to dine at home rather than spending on a restaurant meal, indicating a significant shift in how special occasions are celebrated amid economic challenges.

A third of consumers plan to shop at department stores for Valentine’s Day in 2024, while 31% favor discount stores, highlighting the continued popularity of traditional brick-and-mortar locations for holiday gift buying. This preference suggests that shoppers value the variety and deals these stores offer, maintaining their relevance in the retail landscape.

Only 4% of consumers claim that inflation has not impacted their Valentine’s Day shopping behavior at all.

Finally, 29% of American consumers plan on marking the occasion despite not celebrating Valentine’s Day. The most popular way to mark the occasion without celebrating is to treat oneself to something special, with 15% planning on doing so, followed by 11% who plan on getting together with other single friends and family members.


Valentine’s Day is a strategic goldmine for marketers, as it represents a crucial time to boost sales, with over $25.8 billion expected to be spent in 2024 in the US alone. This period demands creativity and adaptation, urging businesses to think beyond conventional campaigns. It’s a call to action for brands to weave their narratives into the fabric of Valentine’s Day celebrations, crafting experiences that resonate on a personal level.

These insights underscore the evolving landscape of consumer expectations and spending habits, highlighting the necessity for marketers to be agile and responsive. In embracing this day, marketers have the opportunity to not only capitalize on immediate sales but also to build lasting relationships with their audiences. Valentine’s Day is not just another date on the calendar; it’s a strategic moment to engage, inspire, and leave a lasting impression on consumers’ hearts.


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