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73% of UK consumers would spend more on their Valentine in-store if they got personal offers – but would rather let a robot do it

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73% of UK consumers would spend more in stores on Valentine’s Day if they received personalised offers via their smartphones, while 54% believe that hyper-local promotions relating to stores or localities will also increase their romantic expenditure.

Research from Vista Retail Support shows that 75% of UK consumers surveyed say they prefer to visit a retail store or supermarket to purchase goods and gifts for their other half on Valentine’s Day, compared with only 19% preferring to shop online.

“The high-street is clearly still thriving as consumers with romance on their minds continue to prefer buying in-store rather than online,” says James Pepper, technical services director at Vista Retail Support. “Technology such as the smartphone is now a driving force that increases consumer spending. Personalised or local promotions are great ways for retailers to get their customers to spend more around seasonal events like Valentine’s Day.”

The survey also revealed that 77% of consumers spend no more than £20 for gifts on Valentine’s Day, with flowers and chocolates the most-purchased items, each selected by 70% of respondents. When it comes to paying, cash is no longer king, with more than six-out-of-ten (62%) saying that contactless cards are their preferred payment method.

“Consumers expect contactless payment technology to be in bricks-and-mortar stores,” adds Pepper. “Only 7% of consumers in our survey opted to use cash to purchase Valentine’s Day gifts, there is a real shift by consumers to go cashless in this country.”

However, 37% of shoppers find choosing gifts for their loved ones really stressful and 13% of men would rather leave the choosing to an artificial intelligence-powered gift-generating robot. Only 8% of women would consider this…

So finds InternetRetailing EXPO’s upcoming Future of Shopping study, which asked 2000 UK consumers a range of questions about experience of and attitudes towards online v instore shopping habits. One of the areas studied was artificial intelligence and its potential future role in easing the stress of gift selection.

However, be careful if you’re thinking about getting a robot to help select a gift; 41% think it would spell the end of human intuition and gifts would become meaningless (36% men v 46% women). 20% of our female respondents claim they would offended if someone used an AI-powered gift generator to choose a gift, with 5% claiming they would break up with a partner if they couldn’t choose the perfect gift for them! Rather ironically more men than women (8%) would consider this a relationship deal-breaker!

IMAGE Mike Mozart on Flickr

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