What Your Customers Want on Valentine’s.
For the hospitality and retail industries, February 14th – Valentine’s Day – is one of the most important single days of the year. Your restaurant should be crowded, flowers and chocolates should be marching out of your shop. But how should you maximise the business potential of this day? How can you ensure that you get the most possible benefit for your business and give the most appropriate, sought-for product or service to your customers? As with so many aspects of business, here at Customer Perceptions, we can help. We conducted a survey to capture the attitude of the general public towards the most romantic day of the year, and their spending intentions for it! Here’s some of the results.
First of all, of our respondents, 73.12% were female, just under 28% were men. The largest single age group to respond to our survey was the 41- 50 band (constituting just over 28% of our respondents), with only just over 1% (1.07%) being under 18 and no responses at all from anyone over 70. It seems, according to our data, that Valentine’s Day tends to be most important for people between the ages of 26 -60, with that cohort constituting 82.88% of all our respondents. Of that group, the overwhelming majority were in a relationship (83.44%), with 50.98% being married and 66.46% being in a relationship for 5 years or longer. This is the shape of your Valentine’s market, and these are the respondents the remainder of our statistics are drawn from.
In terms of what this group of our respondents felt would be their ideal Valentine’s Day, overwhelmingly (49.35%) felt a romantic getaway would be their favourite option, with the next most popular option, a romantic meal, being chosen less than half that often (19.48%). In terms of actual expectations however, respondents seem to be slightly less ambitious. When asked what they’d like to receive for Valentines, almost two-thirds (60.78%) wanted a simple card, with 36.6% (the next most popular option) choosing dinner. The most obvious reason for the gap between the ideal Valentine’s Day and the practical reality was money – the most common budgeted spend for Valentine’s Day among our respondents was €20-€50 (28.57%), however the next most common budgeted spend was €50-€100 (22.08%), which is a reasonable amount of spending power into which your business can tap. Price wasn’t the only factor for most of our respondents, however. Given the age profile I’ve chosen to focus on it’s probably unsurprising that for several of the couples children was an issue – limiting the amount of social flexibility they have on the night, but for more still work played a role – several couples had at least one partner working on the night. It seems clear that for the people for whom Valentine’s Day is most important flexibility is a key issue – the actual night of the 14th of February may not be most convenient time for them to avail of particular Valentine’s services.
In terms of a gender divide, there were some interesting results. For women in our chosen field, 26.09% were planning a romantic night in, while 29.41% of men were. In terms of an ideal, a romantic getaway topped the poll for both men and women (48.7% of women and 51.28% of men). This was fairly consistent across both genders, but while 4.35% of women were actually planning a romantic getaway, 8.82% of men were. While this might immediately beg the question “who, exactly, are all these men going away with if not the women?” it might also suggest that getaways were being purchased by men without the knowledge of their partners. Indeed, the gender breakdown of budgeted spend seems to suggest a pattern – take a look at some of a breakdown of some of the budgeted spend statistics we collected:
So, on Valentine’s day, and perhaps contrary to what the expected result might be, men are the big spenders. Whoever is driving the choice of purchase, it is the men who will actually spend more money on this holiday.
So, the key things to take away from the survey – Valentine’s Day is most important for couples in longer term relationships, aged broadly from 26 and up (with a severe drop off once they leave their 60s) but despite that broad age range, there’s real consistency in what these couples are looking for. They’re all effected by the same things – work and children mean they require flexibility and convenience, they’re predominantly very settled, so mortgages and (again) children mean they require real value for money, and the price point is important. And finally, and perhaps somewhat surprisingly, for your big sales you’ll be closing the deal with the men, ideally – they’re willing to spend more and to be somewhat more extravagant for the holiday.