4 Valentine’s Day Personas and How They Shop

At Criteo, we analyzed our data on major seasonal periods to identify the trends and opportunities at stake during the romantic holiday.
Updated on December 15, 2022

Roses are red, violets are blue, which Valentine’s Day persona are you?

Despite fewer people celebrating it, Valentine’s Day is a still a powerful seasonal sales driver. The romantic holiday is an opportunity to reach everyone, from longtime married couples looking for a reason to celebrate their love, to the single-ready-to-mingle folks. And let’s not forget those who just want to show their loved ones some appreciation.

Brands and retailers need to conquer the hearts and wallets of consumers with the precision of cupid’s arrow, making understanding consumer behavior and trends ever more important. At Criteo, we analyzed our data surrounding major seasonal periods to identify the trends and opportunities at stake. We uncovered four types of Valentine Sweethearts (personas):

1. The Treat Yo’self Valentine

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be reserved for couples. Love is love whether you have a partner or are loving on yourself. What better way to execute some self-love by engaging in self-care. We saw a +10% increase in nutrition drinks and shakes.

2. The Last-Minute Lover (Shopper)

This persona is too busy to come up with an elaborate gift for Valentine’s Day, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t trying to find the time during the work week to get some shopping done.

In 2018, there were 2 weekdays preceding Valentine’s Day (which fell on a Wednesday). Most of the shopping was concentrated then with a peak increase of +798%.

In 2019, there was an additional day to shop (Valentine’s Day fell on a Thursday), so the surge was more spread across the 3 days prior, peaking at +721%.

With fewer weekdays leading up to Valentine’s Day 2018, we saw higher rates of same-day shopping that year, with a +232% increase vs. a +153% in 2019.

In 2020, Valentine’s Day will fall on a Friday, which means an extra day of same-week shopping.

3. The On-the-Go Galentine

This person is too busy to tackle shopping in stores for all their loved ones, so they reach first for their mobile phones on their downtime to shop. On weekdays, the share of mobile sales in 2019  increased from 24% to 36%. During the weekend last year, the share of flowers and gifts orders made on mobile devices increased from 39% to up to 48%.

4. The Love Swiper

With Valentine’s Day historically being a holiday to celebrate love, some single folks try giving love a chance and are ready to mingle. In early February 2019, dating apps began to see a surge in app downloads and revenue as early as February 11th and continued growing past Valentine’s Day.

Source: Apptopia

Ready to spread the love and capture the hearts of consumers? Here are some sweet takeaways:

  • Shoppers will start thinking about Valentine’s Day once February hits. Make sure you start marketing early to stay top of mind.
  • Consider running uncapped retargeting campaigns on key days to capture last-minute shoppers who buy gifts like flowers and chocolates.
  • Optimize your mobile presence to take advantage of on-the-go buys. Spontaneous gifts like flowers and chocolates should be on responsive landing pages that make it as easy as possible to convert.

to our newsletter

Fresh sales trends and consumer insights to help
you plan and win.