Online Spending on Key Gift Categories Leaps Nearly 50 Percent versus 2003
Reston, Va., Feb. 13, 2004 – Comscore Networks, the leader in the use of the Internet to measure and understand consumer behavior, today released an analysis of consumer behavior related to Valentine’s Day. The Comscore analysis found that total online spending in the Flowers & Gifts, Jewelry & Watches and Health & Beauty categories leapt 49 percent in the ten days ending February 11, 2004 versus the corresponding period in 2003. Comscore also reported the results of survey of U.S. consumers’ preferences, attitudes and intentions related to the holiday.
Americans Looking for Romance Offline Find Gifts OnlineA late-breaking analysis of consumer spending in key Valentine’s Day gift categories reveals spending is up an impressive 49 percent versus 2003. While the Flowers & Gifts category is likely to peak in the last two days prior to Valentine’s Day, sales in the ten days ending February 11 had already totaled $91 million, up an impressive 56 percent versus 2002. Jewelry & Watches, which posted strong growth rates throughout much of 2003, saw growth of more than 62 percent during this year’s pre-Valentine’s Day period.
“Last year, the three weeks ending on Valentine’s Day accounted for a full 12 percent of the year’s online spending in the Flowers & Gifts category -- a seasonal peak that’s expected and pronounced across channels,” said Dan Hess, senior vice president of Comscore Networks. “This year’s growth rates are an encouraging sign for retailers in ‘gifting’ categories thus far, and consumers will continue to buy some products – such as flowers – virtually until the last minute.”
Comscore Survey: Surprise! Men and Women Agree that Valentine’s Day is OverratedA Comscore survey of American consumers conducted between February 10 and February 12, 2004 revealed that fully 50 percent of male respondents believe Valentine’s Day gets too much attention. While female respondents were more likely to report that Valentine’s Day gets the right amount of attention, 41 percent agreed that there’s too much hype surrounding Valentine’s Day.
Those still searching for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift may be relieved to find that the obvious choices are frequently the favorites. When asked to select the top three gifts they would like to receive for Valentine’s Day, 47 percent of females chose flowers, making it the favorite gift among women. Those with more generous budgets, be advised: the second and third ranked gifts among women were jewelry and spa treatments. Among male respondents, music was the top ranked gift. Always the romantics, 24 percent of male respondents chose consumer electronics as a preferred Valentine’s Day gift.
Men Plan to Spend More on Valentine’s Day GiftsDespite feelings among many men that the holiday receives too much attention, men will still outspend women on Valentine’s Day gifts if respondents’ plans are any indication. While the most popular single range of planned spending among both men and women was $0–$50, half of male respondents reported that they planned to spend more than $50. By contrast, nearly 70 percent of women reported they planned to spend $50 or less.
Dinner and a Movie: Perennial Favorites Still Reign Supreme
In a resounding vote of confidence for America’s chefs and restaurateurs, 59 percent of Comscore survey respondents picked eating out as one of their top three Valentine’s Day activities. A “quiet evening at home” was the second-ranked choice with 35 percent, while movies were a close third with 32 percent of respondents choosing this option. In a rare moment of agreement, men and women ranked Valentine’s Day activities in nearly identical order.
Interestingly, Comscore’s survey reveals heartwarming generosity, but also predicts a tug of war brewing at many restaurant tables this year. While 87 percent of male respondents plan to grab the dinner check on Valentine’s Day, 60 percent of women seem to think they will pick up at least part of the tab.
Other interesting findings from Comscore’s Valentine’s Day survey included:
Nearly 30 Million Americans Visit Flowers, Gifts & Greetings Sites
In January, more than 29 million Americans visited sites in the Flower, Gifts & Greetings category, a number sure to increase in February. The category is led by well-known offline brands American Greetings, with 13 million unique visitors, and Hallmark, with 6 million unique visitors.
About Comscore NetworksComscore Networks provides unparalleled insight into consumer behavior. This capability is based on a representative cross-section of more than 1.5 million global Internet users who have given Comscore explicit permission to confidentially capture their Web-wide browsing, buying and other transaction behavior, including offline purchasing. Through its patent-pending technology, Comscore measures what matters across the entire spectrum of surfing and buying behavior. This deep knowledge of customers and competitors helps clients design more powerful marketing strategies and tactics that deliver superior ROI. Comscore services are used by global leaders such as Microsoft, The Newspaper Association of America, Knight Ridder Digital, Best Buy, Verizon, Nestlé, Wells Fargo & Company, GlaxoSmithKline, and Orbitz. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com.
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