Mobile commerce woos British consumers for Valentine’s Day as retailers’ sales soar

The Rakuten Marketing report observed more than 400 UK retailers to find that mobile devices accounted for a quarter of all sales ahead of Valentine’s Day, with sales via smartphones spiking by 91 per cent year-on-year.

The research comes following data from dating site eHarmony, which found that a British business boom is coming ahead of Valentine’s Day, with UK consumers to spend £1.9bn on dinner, gifts, flowers, drinks, cards and chocolates this week.

The rising number of phablets – a smartphone with a five-inch screen or more – on the market, such as the iPhone 6, is making shopping on the move more accessible, according to the study. Indeed, sales via desktops have fallen by 6.1 per cent.

Meanwhile, more UK shoppers have turned to their mobiles for luxury items and jewellery purchases than ever before – sales of the items grew the week before Valentine’s Day 2014 but fell in the same 2013 period.

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Interestingly, the rise of luxury purchases has seemingly happened alongside a decline in the use of voucher discount sites for Valentine’s Day goods, with sales via the latter declining by 18 per cent ahead of 14 February 2014.

However, Brits are still out to get the best deal on the market as the study said shopping and comparison sites accounted for 32.5 per cent of gift sales.

Mark Haviland, MD, Rakuten Marketing Europe, said: “By identifying the bestselling products and top performing channels for conversion during Valentine’s Day, brands can ensure they are developing targeted campaigns that will drive engagement amongst shoppers.

“To harness the growing popularity of mobile devices, retailers must invest in creating mobile responsive campaigns with slick creative, and prioritise content which is easily consumed on-the-go.  It’s the retail marketers who have a mobile-first strategy that are likely to see red this Valentine’s Day.”

Image via Shutterstock.

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