Dog House Factor’ Drives VDay Shopping

    February 14, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Valentine’s Day shopping, it may be said, is driven by the “dog house factor” as much as or more than love. Men have long suspected that the holiday was contrived by sinister dealings between marketers and women. An online poll by Harris Interactive suggests that the agreed upon day for symbolic materialism is a bit more important to the ladies, but not near as important as to the online marketer.

The overall numbers from Harris’ poll, done in conjunction with eHarmony, suggest that the majority of US adults (61%) currently in a relationship believe that it is more important to give their loved one a gift than to receive one from them (31%).

But when broken down according to gender, the results are quite telling. And judging from spikes in category purchases and certain search terms, it seems farily obvious that men are frantically searching online for that perfect heartbreak salve.

Women are more likely than men (44% vs. 16%) to agree that it is important that their current partner buy them a gift or plan a special activity. Inversely then, it may be implied, that men find it very important to not to forget that special day or face the consequences.

On average, one in five adults plan to spend $76 or more on their loved one. Another one in five plan to spend between $36 and $50, with the youngest of lovers (ages 18-39) outspending older age groups.

What will the online shopper be spending that money on? VeriSign reported just after Valentine’s Day 2005 that the largest spikes in online retail came from the categories of jewelry, candy, flowers, and greeting cards. That translates to not so significant growth in the sports and electronics sectors.

Between February 1 and February 14, 2005, online spending in the jewelry category jumped 34% over 2004. Candy increased 25%, while chocolate jumped 49%.

Men are not as confident buying flowers online as that category only went up by 16%. Greeting cards however spiked by 50%, most likely buying this card, according to Hallmark.

Overall, online purchases rose 349% during this period with diamonds leading the way with a 130% increase.

This year, says Hitwise, the query “love poems” has surpassed these sought out items in the search engine world, perhaps because men spent all of their money last year on diamonds and chocolate.

Again, note that searches for “Sports Illustrated” or “La-Z-Boy” didn’t make the list.

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