The cost of love: Valentine’s Day in numbers

February 15, 2017 4:54 pm

Valentine’s Day can be a lucrative source of revenue for many businesses. (Image: Alamy)

* People have been spending more money on Valentine’s Day

* The number of e-commerce transactions during Valentine’s Day period increased 

* 95 per cent of transactions for Valentine’s Day are still made in person, versus only five per cent online


For the average man or woman, Valentine’s Day is a time to give in to everything love-related and spend some time with loved ones.

But for many businesses, this presents a very lucrative opportunity, mostly because people tend to pay a little extra to make the day special, whether through more expensive gifts, nights out or even vacations (or staycations).

MasterCard tracks the spending habits on this special time of year, analysing credit, debit and prepaid card transactions during Valentine’s Day – something it has been doing for the past three years.

Here are the latest findings:


Money no limit

MasterCard recorded a 49 per cent increase in spending on Valentine’s Day, since 2014. Year on year, people have been spending more to make the day special. Moreover, more and more people have increased their spend and are buying more: the data revealed a 73 per cent increase in the number of transactions conducted during the period.


Digital love

The number of e-commerce transactions during the Valentine’s Day period increased by 37 per cent between 2014 and 2016. This means people are choosing convenience as they purchase gifts.

A 240 per cent shift to online was recorded in Latin America; one of the highest recorded around the world.


(Alabbar’s Noon plays “fashion” trump card to grab lion’s share of e-commerce)


Flowers: The classic gift

Latin America also saw a 271 per cent increase in flower sales for Valentine’s Day. But the Middle East region only saw a 22 per cent increase on that front. Guess people here prefer jewellery?


(Biddi: e-commerce with a social touch)


Take me out

People seem to want to carry their Valentine’s Day celebrations well into the night, with increased numbers heading out for dinners and other fun experiences. Data showed a 102 per cent rise in spending at restaurants during the Valentine’s Day period. There was also a 75 per cent increase in transactions at restaurants.


Make it personal

Despite an increase in online gift purchases, 95 per cent of transactions for Valentine’s Day are still made in person, versus only five per cent online.

However, it seems lovers are waiting till the last minute to purchase gifts. The majority of purchases in fact happen on February 13, amounting to a total of 47.4 million purchases globally over the past three years.


AMEinfo Staff
By AMEinfo Staff
AMEinfo staff members report business news and views from across the Middle East and North Africa region, and analyse global events impacting the region today.