NRF-Valentine's-Day-Spend-2007-2016-Feb2016Valentine’s Day spending is expected to reach $19.7 billion this year, up by more than 4% from last year and representing the highest mark in the NRF’s decade-long survey history. The increase is the result largely of a lift in per-celebrant spending, with the 55% of adults planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year planning to spend an average of $147, up from last year’s $142.

Department (34.5%) and discount (31%) stores are the most popular destinations for respondents this year, though online shopping has climbed to a new high of 27.9% of respondents. Candy (50%) and cards (47.9%) continue to be the most common gift choices, followed by an evening out (38.3%) and flowers (36.4%).

In other Valentine’s Day data:

  • Unlike the NRF, American Express forecasts a decrease in Valentine’s Day spending this year, with celebrants expecting to spend an average of $212 this year, down from $296 last year;
  • A survey from Quixey finds that more than one-third of US online adults will use mobile apps to make dinner reservations, order flowers, or buy chocolates;
  • A study from Nanigans indicates that advertisers will see their best results from targeting last-minute shoppers, with return on ad spend highest during Valentine’s Day week (the second week of February) and purchases highest on February 11th;

The following is a brief list of intriguing data points sourced from recent research unrelated to Valentine’s Day.

  • In its latest annual “New Mover Report,” [download page] Epsilon finds that more than 7 in 10 new movers (those that moved in the past 6 months) made a major move-related purchase, led by furniture (51%) and appliances (48%). In making these purchases, respondents noted that visiting the company or business in person was the biggest influence on their decision, followed by online searches and reviews and asking friends or family.
  • Almost half (47%) of new-vehicle drivers use a DVR to record TV programs and fast-forward through ads, says J.D.Power in announcing results from its most recent annual Auto Media Report. New-vehicle drivers aged 35-54 (54%) and those with a household income of at least $100k (57%) are the most likely to fast-forward through TV ads. That makes live viewing all the more important for auto advertisers. Encouragingly, news/news programming (46%) and sports (42%) – which lend themselves more to live viewing than other genres – are the top 2 program types viewed by new-vehicle buyers. Of the 23 sports measured, profession football was the most commonly viewed – a good reason why auto manufacturers (albeit a drop this year) are consistently well-represented in Super Bowl advertising.
  • Virtually all (97% of) Hispanic American adults listen to the radio, reports Nielsen. And while time spent listening to the radio among 18-49-year-olds has decreased this decade, Hispanics in this age group spend more time with the radio than do Black Americans and other races and ethnicities. In particular, Spanish-dominant Hispanic Americans listen to considerably more radio than the English-dominant. Nielsen also notes that online video and audio reach has grown in recent years among Hispanics, a result that aligns with MarketingCharts research into media audience demographics.
  • Almost 1 in 3 marketers surveyed by the ANA work with startups, almost exclusively for technology related solutions. The study – produced in conjunction with the Consumer Technology Association – indicates that start-ups are most commonly hired for social media (53%), content development and management (49%), research and analytics (45%), mobile advertising (43%) and marketing automation (39%).
  • Mobile apps have supplanted print as the main source of coupon discovery, says RetailMeNot in a study [download page] conducted with Placed. However, the survey was conducted among more than 10,000 mobile consumers, which may skew the results somewhat (despite smartphone ownership becoming almost synonymous with mobile these days). Three in 4 respondents reported using at least one app to assist them in their shopping experience, with more than one-quarter using at least 3 apps.
  • There continues to be a strong age-related trend in the propensity for Americans to shop using a smartphone, according to GfK. The results of its survey indicate that roughly one-quarter of Gen Z (18-24; 34%) and Gen Y (25-34; 31%) have made a purchase via a smartphone, with that figure dropping to 15% of Gen Xers (35-50) and just 7% of Baby Boomers (51-68). Not too surprisingly, purchases via desktop or laptop computer are more common among Boomers (43%) and Gen Y (40%) respondents than among Gen Z (32%).
  • Facebook advertising click-through rates rose markedly on a year-over-year basis in Q4 2015, according to a Marin Software review [download page] of its Marin Global Online Advertising Index, which is primarily comprised of enterprise-class marketers spending in excess of $1 million per year on paid search, display, social and mobile. While click-through rates have increased, cost-per-click decreased on a year-over-year basis and was relatively stable throughout 2015. As a greater share of Facebook advertising budgets are spent on mobile, these devices extend their gap with desktops in terms of ad click share, too. Research from MarketingCharts indicates that social ads are now second only to TV ads among paid media in purchase influence for Millennials.

Have a great weekend!

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