People Prefer To Shop In Person For Valentine’s Day

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Despite the global trend for one-click online commerce, when it comes to Valentine’s Day the personal touch is still paramount. According to the MasterCard Valentine’s Day Index, published on Thursday, 90% of gift transactions globally are made in person, rather than online.

Across the 200 countries studied across the Valentine’s Day period over three years (2013-2015), only 6% of all purchases were made via the web.

Valentine's Day spending is moving away from flowers and towards restaurants and hotels

But as well as shrugging off showrooming and apps, people are increasingly moving away from obvious material presents and towards experiences.

One-third of gifts were meals in restaurants and 28% hotel stays.

In the US, food appears to be the most important element of Valentine’s Day — 38% of spending is at restaurants. That figure jumps to 58% in Latin America where there is also a 92% spike in spending on flowers in the same period.

Europeans put a premium on luxury and in particular staying in a hotel (33%) and on eating well — 25% of purchases are made in restaurants.

Those in love in the Middle East are the most likely to buy jewelry, with 23% of purchasing; while in Asia and the Pacific Rim hotels (36%) and restaurants (24%) are top.

To arrive at its conclusions, MasterCard analyzed aggregated transaction information from credit and debit card use across categories of merchant usually associated with Valentine’s Day — such as florists, jewlers and travel agents. The data was gathered from transactions made between February 11-14 in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

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