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Valentine’s Day customers going mobile

Mobile devices are playing an increasingly important role in the planning and purchasing decisions of UK customers for Valentine's Day, according to new research.

The survey, conducted for RadiumOne by specialist research agency TPoll, highlights just how important the role of digital technology is in how UK customers prepare and shop for one of the key retail events of the year.

The study found that almost one third (30%) of the UK's population now research for Valentine’s Day on their smartphone or tablet. This figure rises amongst the younger generation, with 42% of 18-34 year olds using mobile or tablet devices to find a gift for a loved one. Mobile devices support their last minute on-demand attitude, with 62% researching gifts during the week before or on Valentine's Day itself!

The number of consumers saying they purchase gifts for Valentine's Day using their smartphone or tablet is an impressive 26%. This illustrates a step change in retail behaviour as UK shoppers are now clearly more relaxed at using and trusting mobile technology to help them purchase products online.

Key survey highlights include:

● Almost one third of all adults (30%) will use a smartphone or tablet to research Valentine’s Day gifts, rising to 42% amongst 18-34 year olds
● Men are almost twice as likely (39%) to research their gifts on smartphones or tablets compared to women (21%)
● 26% of UK consumers would use either a mobile or tablet to purchase their Valentine’s Day gifts, rising to 34% for 18-34 year olds
● Importantly, 39% of consumers still use a desktop computer to research
● 64% will still consider buying their gifts in-store on the high street

Rupert Staines, European MD at RadiumOne, comments: "In recent years mobile technology has revolutionised UK shopping and nowhere is this more apparent than amongst the younger generation. This group tends to be both more digitally-savvy, dependent and demanding. What we’re seeing is people researching Valentine’s gifts on the go and then being comfortable purchasing later online via their desktop, mobile or tablet.”

Despite the last minute nature of many of these ‘on-demanders’, marketers cannot afford to ignore them. 64% will buy something for their Valentine, more than any other age group, and 37% will spend £25-49 with a further 11% spending upwards of £100, second only to the richer but less tech-savvy 55+ age bracket.

Staines continues: "For brands in today's data-driven, omni-channel world, it's all about ensuring your business has the right platform to reach the Valentine's Day customer on the right device and at the very moment they want your product or service. Connecting to your audience anywhere and everywhere is the crucial competitive advantage."

With the UK’s romantics buying two or more (2.8) gifts on average, marketers need to act fast to capitalise. Aside from the obligatory Valentine’s Day gifts including a card (68%), a meal (44%), chocolates (39%) and flowers (35%), will also be bought by romantics this year. Luxury goods such as perfume (22%), jewellery (15%) and lingerie (8%) were also favoured gifts, according to a recent RadiumOne US study into luxury trends, entitled, Luxury Retail’s Digital Moment.

The Valentine’s Day research reinforces the luxury report findings illustrating just how important it is for marketers to increasingly optimise their luxury digital experience through mobile and advertising technologies. Forward-thinking brands can now bridge the gap between their physical and digital footprint by understanding consumer behaviour across desktop, mobile and in-store.

The research was undertaken by specialist research agency, TPoll, on 31st January and 1st February 2015, surveying 500 UK consumers, aged 18 – 55+.

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