Online retailers could miss out on one of the biggest trading periods of the year as a last minute in-store shopping rush is expected on Valentine¡¯s Day this Sunday, Barclaycard data suggests.

Boux Avenue's Valentine's Day campaign

In stark contrast to Christmas the trading period, when most consumers shopped online, more than a third (36%) of shoppers are expected to leave their Valentine’s purchases to February 14th, meaning impulse buyers are likely to shop in-store rather than online to buy gifts for their loved ones.

Data from 2015 shows that as Valentine’s Day occurred on a Saturday, year-on-year spending on February 14th was up significantly as shoppers rushed out to make last minute buys on the high street.

This trend is expected to be replicated this year, with Valentine’s Day falling on a Sunday – meaning ecommerce-only retailers stand to lose out on vital sales if they do not use the week ahead to entice shoppers to buy online.

Barclaycard’s research shows that introducing exclusive online reductions and promotions could help boost consumer spending over the next week, as over a third (38 per cent) of shoppers admit they would be swayed by discounting when looking for a gift for their loved one.

Philip McHugh, CEO of Barclaycard Business Solutions, said: “February 14th is a lucrative peak in the year for consumer spending, and with last minute shoppers more likely to pick up presents in-store over the weekend, it is especially important ecommerce retailers focus on driving sales online now. Merchants who are successful in providing a seamless shopping experience in the run-up to key commercial dates such as Valentine’s Day are far more likely to drive repeat custom throughout the rest of the year.”

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