Looking to win over your loved one this Valentine’s Day? Try ‘date night’ experiences
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People around the world continue to say “I love you” by investing in experiences over material goods, as new data shows sentimental spending has increased by 6% since 2015, with the number of transactions up by 17% during the Valentine’s Day period.
The annual “Mastercard Love Index”, created by analysing credit, debit and prepaid transactions across the past three Valentine periods (11th-14th February 2015-17), reveals that the most popular way to your lover’s heart is through their stomach, as dining out for ‘date night’ takes top spot with 40% share of spend, and 75% share of transactions in 2017.
Whisking your partner away for an unforgettable travel experience (via air or train) also saw a significant rise as the number of transactions increased by 23% in 2017, accounting for 22% of total spend over the most romantic time of the year. Indulging in a hotel stay remains a firm favourite with 27% share of spend.
The data supports the rise of the ‘experience economy’ as happiness clearly comes from creating lasting memories - worthy of posting on social media - instead of purchasing ‘things’.
Contactless technology – perfect for avoiding those awkward moments when the bill comes – gains momentum as the value of transactions rose by a massive 311%, and a 203% increase in the number of transactions since 2015. In fact, the amount spent via contactless rose across all categories with the highest increase across air and train travel (1064%), jewellery (453%) and flowers (446%).
Conversely, money spent on traditional Valentine’s gifts such as flowers decreased by 3%, although the number of transactions increased by 14%, showing that although flowers remain a symbol of romance, a single stem means more than an elaborate bouquet. Similarly with jewellery, spend decreased by 9% but transactions increased by 10% (vs. 2015).
The study, which looked at shopper behaviour in more than 200 territories around the globe, identified further purchasing trends.
So, are we planners or spontaneous when it comes to matters in love? The data suggests that we are getting ahead of the curve when buying gifts. It’s no longer left until the last minute, as the majority (30%) of Valentine’s purchases are made on the 11th February (48.8 million transactions globally, over the past three years) however, just over a quarter (27%) of all transactions (between 11th - 14th February) were made on Valentine’s Day itself.
The trend for online shopping continues with an enormous 136% increase in the number of e-commerce transactions from Valentine’s Day 2015 to Valentine’s Day 2017.
"Spoiling your loved one on Valentine’s Day shows no signs of slowing down. Our data suggests that while people still purchase traditional gifts, the move towards putting on a great experience trumps all. Contactless payments are convenient and make life that little bit easier, so it’s great to see people embracing the technology around the world. The Mastercard Love Index – now in its 3rd year – highlights global and regional trends to offer priceless insight into consumer buying habits over the romantic period." Ann Cairns, President, International.
Regional summary of consumer spending habits across the globe:
|KEY SPENDING PATTERNS PER REGION DURING VALENTINE’S DAY PERIOD ACROSS 2015 - 2017|
|Latin America and the Caribbean||
|Middle East and Africa||
Mastercard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MastercardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.