The Data Analytics of Valentine’s Day

big data analytics
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By NicoElNino

What’s the big deal about a holiday invented by the greeting card companies?

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that a lady named Esther Howland sold the first mass-produced valentine cards in the 1840s. She was definitely on to something. The Greeting Card Association estimates that Americans will send about 150 million cards this year.

Today, if you’re in a relationship, you may get in “trouble” if you don’t remember it! Maybe that’s the driver behind the big business that is Valentine’s Day. It’s also the day singles loathe more than any other. So, for all you data geeks, we’re bringing you the data analytics of Valentine’s Day.

So break open that heart-shaped chocolate box and gather a little watercooler fodder about the sweetest holiday of the year.


infographic showing valentine's day analytics

How much is a Valentine Worth?

About $126 across the board, according to the National Retail Association’s 2012 Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions survey. That’s more than any year in the survey’s 10-year history. The expected economic impact is a mere $17.6 billion.

Who Spends the Most?

Men are more likely to double their lady love’s spend, shelling out about $168 for the holiday. His spending spree covers clothing, jewelry, greeting cards and more (which differs from our infographic slightly). Women stay under the $100 mark with an average ticket of $85.


Mobile Shoppers

We found this data intriguing – research begins with the mobile device. More than half of shoppers who own tablets researched, compared prices, redeemed coupons, looked up retailer info or purchased products with their devices, reports the NRF. Additionally, 40% of smartphone owners used their devices for the same purpose.

What Are We Buying & Where?

Jewelry tops the list of spending at nearly $4.1 billion, followed closely by an evening out at $3.5 billion. Candy, flowers and gift cards spending will average a little over $1 billion each.

Don’t Forget the Kids

Consumers will spend an average of $25 on their children and other family members, reports the NRF. And in nine months, that spending will jump to more than $10,000 just to bring one of the 11,000 children conceived on Valentine’s Day into the world. And when you look at the cost to raise a Valentine’s baby to adulthood, you’ll shell out an average of $226K over the next 18 years.

Furry Friends Need Love, Too

And Fido can’t be forgotten; pets receive at least a “happy” with consumers averaging about $4.52 on pets.


If you dig into the NRF data a little more, you’ll see that those who do purchase pet gifts will spend around $23 for their furry friends. The more surprising number is how many people would like to receive “Valentine’s kisses from their four-legged, furry friends than their two-legged sweethearts.” Of 6,000 “American pet parents” surveyed by PetPlan, a pet insurance company, 60% prefer puppy and kitty kisses this Valentine’s.

The data analytics also show that we’re so obsessed with our pets, that 20% of them will send their own Valentine’s greetings through the mail.

The Unlovely Side of Valentine’s Spending

It appears that the ladies really do take Valentine’s Day seriously. Nearly 53% of the ladies would end their relationships if they did not receive a gift on February 14th. Wonder if that explains why divorce filings rise about 40% this time of year?

A divorce attorney who was born on Valentine’s Day reports that today is not the day to make the commitment. While 10% of all marriage proposals take place on Valentine’s Day (according to U.S. Census data), attorney Myra Chack Fleischer says, “One day a year does not a love affair make.”


Singles – Online is Where It’s At

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2007, there were 393 dating services in America with a revenue of $928 million. New research published today shows that this may be the place to look for love. TheNextWeb reports that there’s been a 57% increase in online dating revenues in the last year and only about a tenth of single people use these sites.