Valentine’s Day is always a big event for retailers, but this year, consumers planned and spent more on virtual and online activities than ever before. According to research conducted across its network by Barclaycard, two-thirds of retailers increased preparedness for a surge in e-commerce for the holiday.
In the U.K., where recent lockdowns have left people inside and disconnected again, 62 percent of couples who live apart marked the event using e-commerce. And retailers responded: more than half of retailers offered “Virtual Valentine’s” products including a broader range of gifts, gift cards and candy that could be ordered online and delivered.
“Businesses need to be able to adapt to consumer behaviors and trends and this couldn’t be more true for this Valentine’s Day,” said Kirsty Morris, managing director at Barclaycard Payments. “It’s encouraging to see retailers have remained agile throughout the pandemic and are supporting their customers in new ways—whether that’s sending flowers with same-day-delivery, offering personal shopping experiences online, or expanding products and services to meet new demand. It’s great that this popular occasion is bringing some much-needed optimism to retailers, and giving them confidence in the future of their businesses.”