Valentine’s Day 2019 – New Kinds of Love

Ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day, the classic holiday of love and romance, are evolving. Jewelry, chocolate and flowers are still among the favorite gifts among the 55% of Americans who usually celebrate the holiday. Nevertheless, “the times, they are a changin’,” and retailers have the chance to cash in on new opportunities.

How is Valentine’s Day transforming and why is this a boon for online merchants?

Non Celebrants

Much like the spirit behind China’s “Singles Day,” last year three out of 10 young adults who said they were not celebrating the day at all decided to purchase “anti” Valentine gifts for themselves or got together with family or friends. The concept was that no “significant other” was necessary to celebrate the day. For intrepid retailers, this is a great opportunity to move away from standard romantic gifts and offer a wide range of self-indulgent products from new phones and electronic gadgets to spa days and makeovers.

Experiential Celebrants

Millennials are young people who enjoy sharing new experiences with their loved ones. Last year 42% of those surveyed by the National Retail Federation hoped to receive an experience-based gift. While tickets to various generic sports events and concerts are popular, creative merchants can offer unique experiences such as a tour of a winery, a cooking event, a workshop or any other kind of special event connected to their brand. This is a great opportunity to personally engage new customers with your offerings.

Pet Parent Celebrants  

Love takes many forms. Many young consumers regard Valentine’s Day as an occasion to indulge their pets. Last year a quarter of those under age 35 bought gifts for their pets and outspent older shoppers. Anything goes, from sweaters and heart ID tags to a Valentine’s Day gift basket full of dog or cat treats or a kangaroo pouch hoodie to carry your pet. Here too, creative retailers can cater to a highly lucrative new trend and eager consumers.

Share the Love Celebrants

Valentine’s Day is no longer just for couples. It has expanded into a day to celebrate love and friendship in all its forms. Some people choose to pop by their parents or grandparents’ for a visit, armed with a special gift. Others treat one of their siblings to an experience or an item they’ve been wanting for a while. Some celebrate by volunteering for a good cause and making the day special for someone in need. The broadening of the concept of love opens the door for retailers to offer a wider range of gifts for recipients of all ages.

Catering to Evolving Love

As Valentine’s Day evolves into a holiday commemorating all types of love, celebrants are increasingly seeking a wider range of gifts than chocolate and flowers. Online merchants who can offer unique gifting opportunities to consumers seeking something different stand to reap considerable benefits and promote involvement with their brand.


Photo courtesy of Sarah Pflug



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