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Planning to benefit from a mobile Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day has a reputation as a day for last-minute shopping. But retailers looking to benefit from the romance of the occasion need to think rather further ahead, according to new analysis.

Marketing performance company Criteo has delved into data from last year to find out how shoppers buy at Valentine’s Day – and says that retailers need to start their campaigns at the beginning of the month if they are to make the most of the event.

It found that 1.2bn purchases were made online between February 10 and 12 last year. Overall, sales via mobile devices were up by 79% over the period, compared to the previous year. More consumers, the company says, were buying more last-minute gifts for their Valentines while on the move.

The fastest growth was seen in the flowers and gift category, where sales were up by 220% compared to the previous year. Sales of health and beauty goods rose by 47%, and jewellery and fashion by 20%. Researchers also found that Valentine’s shoppers bought cross-sell items such as sweets and chocolates to accompany the main gift.

Jon Lord, commercial director at Criteo , said: “Valentine’s Day is one of the key trading dates in every retailers’ calendar and it seems to be getting bigger every year. It is no surprise that last year’s Criteo data found that the sale of flowers increased in the weeks before 14th February. But what is interesting, is that the sale of fashion and luxury items jumped by a massive 128% in the first week of February, suggesting that there’s more to Valentine’s Day than just flowers!

“Of course, there are always those shoppers, who leave it to the last moment. Criteo data found that conversion rates on mobile increased by nearly 20% on 12th February for travel brands as some opt for a last minute getaway with the love of their life.

“But it is not too late, marketers can still maximise this key trading event by phasing budgets accordingly and ensuring store promotions carry through to digital across all screens.”

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