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UK shoppers spend less on Valentine’s Day and many cancel purchases marketplace data shows…

UK shoppers spent less on Valentine’s Day overall this year, with many cancelling purchases of gifts before the big day, according to payment data.

According to research by payment provider Mangopay, marketplace shoppers spent less this year than 2022 and targeted different sectors for gifts – with many then cancelling their purchases up to 13 February.

The data shows that the total number of fashion and accessory transactions increased by a whopping 174% compared to the same time period last year, confirming the notion that more and more consumers are consciously ditching fast-fashion and purchasing clothing on resale marketplaces instead. 

However, despite the overall increase in transactions, the total average transaction value in this sector decreased by 10%.

Transactions for beauty and cosmetic products were highest on the 13th, suggesting that people were keen to beautify themselves from head to toe the day before their big dates. That said, the average transaction value of these products was 9% lower than the previous year. 

The most popular day for food and wine transactions was February 13th, demonstrating that people likely wanted to keep their edible items as fresh as possible for the following day. However, the total average value of edible items purchased decreased by 41% compared to the same week in 2022. 

Ticketing transactions were highest on the 13th and 14th, indicating that many consumers left arranging this year’s dates to the very last moment (!) and that last-minute shoppers turned to Valentine’s presents that could be gifted digitally – I.e., without needing to share the purchase data with their partner. However, the total average transaction value spent on ticketing throughout the week was £168 lower than in 2022.  

However, many shoppers must have had second thoughts about purchasing gifts for their significant others this year, as the average, overall number of cancelled transactions increased by a whopping 96% compared to the same week in 2022 – perhaps even indicating that some relationships came to an end ahead of the big day.

Luke Trayfoot, MANGOPAY’s Chief Revenue Officer comments: “The fact that people are opting to spend less on occasions such as Valentine’s Day shows the true impact of the cost-of-living crisis. Naturally, many are choosing to hold back on purchasing non-essentials, with 96% of consumers intending to adopt cost-saving behaviours over the next six months. In light of this, marketplace retailers must take every step to ensure they remain competitive and continue to drive as many sales as possible. Providing an outstanding payment experience will contribute enormously to their success. 

“To help navigate today’s economic challenges, shoppers may wish to use alternative payment methods or look for more affordable items. Because of this, marketplaces and platforms that offer a variety of products purchasable via various payment methods to suit all users’ needs are more likely to succeed – and partnering with sophisticated payment infrastructure providers can help create a frictionless payments environment that enables exactly that. In addition, a seamless payments process can help eliminate checkout abandonment and increase conversion which, given the large increase in order cancellations around Valentine’s Day this year, should be a key area of focus for marketplace platforms.” 

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