Last Year’s Valentine’s Day Shopping and Spending Trends vs. Now

Last year, most of us got to experience a normal Valentine’s Day before we were filled with terror due to COVID-19. While Valentine’s Day usually revolved around spending big and experiencing new things with your partner outside your home in 2020, it’s highly likely that you’ll be staying inside and focusing on food and comfort this year. Check out our breakdown of last year’s Valentine’s Day shopping and spending trends vs. now!

The Top Findings About Last Year

Here are some of our top findings regarding last year’s Valentine’s Day:

  • In the United States, consumer spending revolved around experience and self-love gifts.
  • Over 40% of people had gifted experiences last year.
  • Up to 55% of the entire population celebrated Valentine’s Day. 
  • Valentine’s Day spending surpassed a total of 27 billion U.S. dollars in 2020.
  • Most celebrants ended up spending an average of $200 per person. Men spent approximately $291 while women spent $106 on gifts.
  • The top five purchases were — candy, Valentine’s Day cards, an evening out, jewelry, and flowers.
  • The least-popular Valentine’s Day gifts were gift cards.
  • Interestingly, people spent around $30 on gifts for family members other than their partners or spouses.
  • Approximately 35% shopped in retail stores. Another 32% chose online shopping for Valentine’s Day.

So what will change this year? Obviously, there will be changes in the way we purchase things due to COVID-19 measures. Online shopping grew by 40% last year, and it’s quite possible that most of us will choose sites like Amazon for our preferred Valentine’s Day shop. Also, we’ll see a drop in experience-based gifts.

Average Spending by Relationship Status

When it comes to spending predictions, they largely depend on a person’s relationship status. Last year, recently engaged couples were the biggest spenders. They spent over $100 more compared to singles. The same applies to married couples.

According to a recent survey, it’s estimated that 45% of engaged participants will buy gifts that are worth over $100. Additionally, over 35% of participants who are married said that they would spend over $100. The data is similar for survey participants who are in a relationship but are not married or engaged.

When it comes to singles, 30% of respondents will spend over $100. However, the numbers are lower than average for everyone compared to last year. Over 50% of all celebrants said that they would spend anywhere from $1 to $100 this year compared to the last year’s average of $200.

Who Did They Spend Money On?

Like we’ve said, people also used their Valentine’s Day budget to buy gifts for family members other than their spouses last year. For this year, data shows that around 70% of people will spend around $100 money on gifts, activities, and meals with their partner. Also, 33% claimed that they would use that money to purchase gifts for their children.

Moreover, 18% aim to buy gifts for their friends. Interestingly, 15% of celebrants said that they would buy a gift for themselves. The figures may vary a bit due to age groups. Yet, for people across all age groups, buying Valentine’s Day gifts for their partner is the top choice.

Top Retailers for Valentine’s Day Shopping

Walmart and Amazon saw the highest Valentine’s Day sales last year. Most estimates agree that this will be the same for 2021. Exactly 53% of Americans plan to shop at Walmart, while 52% will buy things from Amazon. Other top choices are Target (30%) and local delivery companies for flowers and other gifts (20%). Jewelry retailers could also land 15% of shoppers.

Regarding retailers, age groups will also impact the shopping trends. For example, 60% of people in the 18–24 age group are more likely to buy gifts from Amazon. The figure is similar for the 25–34 age group. However, people aged 44 and over, along with baby boomers, have mainly picked Walmart.

Plans for Valentine’s Day

As mentioned, last year was all about experiences. Here’s a list of the top Valentine’s Day plans in 2020:

  • Outdoor dining 
  • Short vacations and couples retreats
  • Day trips
  • Spa breaks 
  • Live music dates
  • Bar-hopping
  • Hiking
  • Dining with family

In 2021, most of our celebrations have been canceled due to lockdowns. It’s possible that you could end up spending Valentine’s Day online. Around 16% of celebrants will connect with their spouses, families, or dates online.

Others will need to plan an activity that adheres to the safety measures. It’s likely that most of us will stay at home, order food, watch movies, or even take a short walk outside. Even though we’re a bit limited this year, that should not restrict us from having a good and intimate time with our partners. For example, you could take a romantic bath, cook dinner together, have some deep conversations, and enjoy your favorite movies!

Saving Money on Valentine’s Day

To further complicate things, many people’s careers have been impacted. Most people are being careful of their budgets on a daily basis. If you are worried about money, you can still have a good time without compromising anything.

For example, food will most likely be the main attraction. Around 44% of people said that they would purchase chocolate. Also, approximately 30% chose chocolate as their perfect gift. So to save money and still surprise your partner, you can spend some cash on chocolates or even make some strawberries dipped in chocolate.

Alternatively, you can order or cook dinner or even make a DIY gift (a photo album or scrapbook, etc.). You shouldn’t be expected to spend hundreds on jewelry to express your affection to your loved one! You can think of anything that’s affordable but is still enough to surprise your sweetheart or put a smile on their face.

Have Fun!

Now that you know the leading Valentine’s Day trends for this year, you can plan the perfect day for your sweetie and make the most of it! Good luck!