Valentine’s day had SA’s ecommerce critics smugly denigrating online shopping as Net Florist failed to supply fresh flowers to the thousands of orders it received – but Net Florist managed to turn its disaster into a case study on how to execute a customer relations success.
The annual, global Mastercard Love Index has revealed that sentimental spending in South Africa has grown by 66% since 2016 – well above the global average of 3% – with the majority (30%) of Valentine’s purchases made on 11 February. Dinner dates at restaurants remain the most popular, accounting for more than 80% of the total transactions made in 2018. Travel also saw a significant rise, increasing by 161% and accounting for 25% of total spend.
Traditional gifts like flowers saw a 24% increase, but purchases of jewelry decreased. In Europe, according to the Index, lovers spend more money on Valentine’s Day presents online with money spent on gifts increasing by 30% compared to 2016. The share of online purchases rose by 74% over the same period. Jewelry purchases largely remained stable, but flowers became more popular with an increase of 59%. A day or weekend away were coveted presents (33%) , which illustrates the general gift trend of experiences trumping material goods. Since 2016 the Mastercard Love Index has examined the purchase behaviour of consumers around Valentine’s Day by analysing credit, debit and prepaid card transactions and comparing global and regional trends.