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Love conquers all: Valentine’s Day spending sacks Super Bowl

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In the second consecutive disharmonic convergence of passion-filled February holidays, Valentine’s Day is poised to score a significant victory over Super Bowl LVII when it comes to consumers and their wallets, a Signifyd study shows. 

But the data raises a decidedly unsentimental question: In the battle of the big February holidays — Feb. 12 and Feb. 14 this year — are consumers showing their romantic side — or do they just love a bargain?

In fact, the love-struck are set to increase online Valentine’s Day spending by 10% this year over last year, while football fanatics are on course to spend 15% less than they did a year ago on Super Bowl-related items, according to Signifyd projections based on early spending patterns and historical data.  

Projected change in online spending for Super Valentine’s Season 2022 to 2023


Valentine’s Day  +10%
Super Bowl  -15%

Year-over-year change in spending (and projected spending) from Jan. 30 through Feb. 13

Change in the first week of February spending 2023 vs. 2022 (actual)

Valentine’s Day  +12%
Super Bowl -12%

Year-over-year spending change for the first week of February (Jan. 30 to Feb. 6)

Like last year, the National Football League’s world championship and the celebration of love and romance have landed within days of each other on the calendar, raising an awkward question between those in a loving relationship: Which do you love more — me or football?

On the surface, Signifyd’s data provides cover for those who know that “football” is the wrong answer. But dig a little deeper and —  as is often the case with matters of the heart — the story is a little more complicated.

It turns out that inflation has treated Valentine’s Day-related products and Super Bowl-related products differently. In comparing a basket of Valentine’s Day-related goods with a basket of Super Bowl-related goods, Signifyd found that the price of Valentine’s Day goods dropped 5% from last Valentine’s Day. Super Bowl goods, on the other hand, were up 5%. Further proof that inflation is not one-size-fits-all and that different products and categories face different inflationary pressure. 

Change in Valentine’s Day price index and Super Bowl Price Index, 2023 vs. 2022


Valentine’s Day  -5%
Super Bowl  +5%

The Valentine’s and Super Bowl price indices compare prices year-over-year for the first week of February (Jan. 30 to Feb.6).

In conducting its analysis, Signifyd looked at a basket of Super Bowl-related goods (retail categories including TVs, sports jerseys, popular snacks, lounge chairs and couches) and a basket of Valentine’s Day-related goods (categories including jewelry, cosmetics, flowers, chocolates, gift baskets and sex toys). 

Change in spending 2023 vs. 2022 by Valentine’s Day category


Beauty and cosmetics +5%
Fashion and apparel +8%
Jewelry and watches -6%
Gifting (flowers, baskets, chocolate, etc.) +3%
Sex toys 0%

Year-over-year spending change for the first week of February (Jan. 30 to Feb. 6)

So, it’s possible that Super Bowl shoppers were inspired to pull back on spending in the face of higher prices for the items they really wanted, but didn’t really need. 

Change in spending 2023 vs. 2022 by Super Bowl category


Consumer electronics  -16%
Grocery -9%
Home goods  -3%
Sporting goods  +4%

Year-over-year spending change for the first week of February (Jan. 30 to Feb. 6)

2023 is shaping up to be the year of Super Bowl austerity. Signifyd data indicates that Super Bowl shoppers have so far bought many more items, but spent less on them overall. Perhaps more off-brand guacamole with tortilla chips and fewer big-brand TVs with high-efficiency video chips? 

Super Bowl 2023 vs. 2022


Total spending  -12%
Average order value -10%
Cart size (No. products per order) +49%

Year-over-year spending change for the first week of February (Jan. 30 to Feb. 6)

Conversely, Valentine’s Day shoppers appear to be ready to show their love in a big way, as is evident by the fact that they spent more money on fewer items than last year during early shopping for Valentine’s Day. 

Valentine’s Day 2023 vs. 2022


Total spending +12%
Average order value  +11%
Cart size (No. products per order) -5%

Year-over-year comparison for the first week of February (Jan. 30 to Feb.6)

Then again, for the romantics out there, maybe they were just that much more in love this year. 

UK shoppers buck inflation woes to show their love on Valentine’s Day

Despite headlines you read, it’s never actually been proven that love conquers all. That said,  Signifyd has turned up fairly convincing evidence that it can take on inflation rather handily. 

Despite persistent rising prices across Britain, online shoppers will spend 6% more on gifts this Valentine’s Day than they did in 2022, Signifyd projects, based on historical data and spending leading up to Valentine’s Day. Notably, the increase outstrips the 2% increase in the price of Valentine’s Day-related items that Signifyd studied

Projected year-over-year change in online Valentine’s Day spending


Valentine’s Day 2023 +6%
Valentine’s Day 2022 -4%

Projection covers sales from Jan. 30 to Feb. 13

That 2023 spending boost marks a turnaround from 2022, when Valentine’s Day spending dropped 4% below the previous year. 

But before you run out and buy a big expensive gift for the love of your life in anticipation of this new, apparent generosity, it would be wise to dig a little more deeply into how the spending has been going so far.

During the first week, or so, of February, Valentine’s Day shoppers have spent 2% less than last year and the data indicates that significant others are buying more for Valentine’s day, but spending less on those things they are buying. That could mean loved ones are in for more chocolates and fewer fancy watches and pieces of fine jewelry. 

Valentine’s Day spending so far 2023 vs. 2022 (actual)


Total spending  -2%
Average order value -16%
Cart size (No. products per order) +12%
Online order count +14%

Year-over-year spending change for the first week of February (Jan. 30 to Feb. 8)

In fact, overall spending on Valentine’s Day-related items in early February was down 2% and the average size of each online order was down -16%. All this while inflation has driven up the cost of a list of Valentine’s Day products by 2% over a year ago. 

Signifyd’s projected 6% increase in spending anticipates a flurry of last-minute gift buying. Shocking.

The picture can be as dizzying as falling in love but put simply: UK Consumers are buying more items and buying more often, but they’re spending less overall and way less on each order. 

Signifyd reached its conclusions by looking at a basket of likely Valentine’s Day gifts, including apparel, beauty and cosmetics items, jewelry and watches, flowers, candy and more.

Overall, that big basket of goods went up in price, but not by as much as the staggering overall increase in inflation. In fact, prices rose just 2% over a year ago. Still, as we’ve all learned in these inflationary times, inflation is not sprinkled evenly across all goods. 

Change in prices for Valentine’s Day categories 2023 vs. 2022


Overall price change +2%
Beauty and cosmetics  -1%
Fashion and apparel  -6%
Jewelry and watches -12%
Gifting +11%

Year-over-year price changes for the first week of February (Jan. 30 to Feb. 8)

Other signs in the data point to inflation’s influence on Valentine’s Day 2023. Transactions involving Valentine’s Day-related products and including the use of buy now, pay later are up 42% during the early days of February (Jan. 30 to Feb. 8) over a year ago.

The fiscally minded no doubt see the increase as a sign that household budgets are stretched thin. Romantics, however, might draw a different conclusion: Perhaps the growing use of BNPL in the UK is a sign of growing optimism that love will last — at least through the series of installments that the payment form requires. 

Photo by Getty Images

Explore more real-time ecommerce data from Signifyd

Mike Cassidy

Mike Cassidy

Mike is the head of storytelling at Signifyd. A former journalist and a retail geek, he covers ecommerce and the way technology is transforming digital commerce. Contact him at [email protected].