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Over 40% of UK to shop for Valentine's Day gifts, finds Airtime Rewards
Wed, 14th Feb 2024

According to a recent customer poll by Airtime Rewards, 42% of UK consumers plan to shop for gifts on Valentine's Day, while 38% intend to celebrate. More than a third (36%) of those choosing to 'splash the cash' expect to spend more than £50, while 72% are looking to spend in excess of £20. Additionally, more than half of the consumers, representing 52%, plan to celebrate the occasion by buying a greeting card for their loved one.

The survey also reveals preferences when it comes to gifting style; two-fifths (39%) favour traditional presents such as flowers or chocolates, almost a quarter (22%) appreciate their partner doing something meaningful or thoughtful, and 20% would prefer experiental gifts like romantic getaways.

A not insignificant percentage of the polled parties also intend to express their affections through food-based experiences. An impressive more than two thirds (43%) plan to buy a special meal to eat at home, 31% will adopt an even more personal approach cooking their partner a meal at home, and a third (32% ) are intending to dine at a pub or restaurant. A relatively modest 7% will mark the occasion with drinks in a pub or bar.

However, Valentine's Day is not universally endorsed. Of those surveyed, three-fifths (62%) do not plan to join in any Valentine's Day celebrations. One-third of these individuals (33%) cited being single as the reason they won't be participating in the occasion, while another third (31%) dismiss the event as a commercial or promotional scheme. Interestingly, the same number (31%) do not feel the need for a specific day to celebrate their relationship status. Among other reasons given for their non-participation included it being viewed as "just another day" by 23% of respondents, and 18% each feels it's "too expensive to eat or drink out" and "a waste of money".

Josh Graham, Co-founder of Airtime Rewards, made a point of emphasising the opportunities the occasion presents for businesses. He said, "With a large proportion of UK consumers set to celebrate with their loved ones this Valentine's Day with cards, gifts and experiences, retailers and hospitality businesses have an opportunity to build emotional connections with their customers. With fairly widespread scepticism around the authenticity of the occasion, those which offer competitive prices and create exceptional experiences will encourage brand loyalty." He suggested business take advantage of the occasion for enhancement of customer experience, further advising, "retailers and venues should consider loyalty schemes, to give customers the opportunity to accrue rewards at a time when they might be cutting down on discretionary spending".

These insights come from a survey of 2,505 active UK shoppers that Airtime Rewards carried out in January 2024. The term 'active UK shoppers' refers to members who have engaged with the Airtime Rewards app and made purchases from its partnered brands within the 60 days preceding the survey.