Valentine's Day Poses a $19 Billion Opportunity for Marketers

Sarah Steimer
AMA Podcast
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Key Takeaways

What? Valentine’s Day sales were worth $19.7 billion in 2016.

So what? The holiday is no longer secluded to couples, broadening the market for many businesses.

Now what? Marketers need only advertise in a two-week window to capitalize on holiday spending.

​Feb. 13, 2017

In case the predominant displays in CVS and Walgreens didn’t tip you off, the season of love is upon us


The History Channel estimates that Americans probably began exchanging handmade valentines in the early 1700s, with Esther A. Howland selling the first mass-produced valentines in America in the 1840s.

Listen to our Valentine's Day marketing podcast with the CEO of Chicago-based Flowers for Dreams.

A far cry from Howland’s cards, consumers can now shoot each other e-cards and observe a countdown to Valentine’s Day on the Hallmark Channel.

Valentine’s Day sales were at an all-time high in 2016 at $19.7 billion, likely because the holiday has expanded to include couples and singles. Marketers may want to keep this in mind, as a single man is expected to spend $71 during the holiday and a single woman will spend $40.

Bing found that people search the phrase “Valentine’s Day Gifts For…” as it relates to their husband (22%), friend (20%) and boyfriend (17%). Bing also found that $681 million are spent on Valentine’s Day gifts for pets, not to be outdone by humans.

Entrepreneur says it’s best for marketers to focus on the one or two weeks prior to Valentine’s Day, as 46% of buyers say they start shopping in early February. The best place to advertise depends on the gift: people who shop on desktops or tablets typically search for handmade or branded items, romantic staples or chain restaurants. On the other hand, those who shop on their phones are more likely to look at jewelry and engagement rings, along with last-minute gifts and online groceries.


 Valentine's Day by the Numbers


Half of marriage proposals occur on Valentine’s Day. Jewelers are seeing the love, having made $4.5 billion for Valentine’s Day in 2016. If a ring or necklace is presented with a rose, that stem was part of $2 billion spent on flowers in the U.S., according to the National Retail Federation.

While being a flower delivery company on Valentine's Day really makes marketing a snap, Chicgao-based Flowers For Dreams has also promoted its special holiday bouquets ("Berry" and "Love") on its social media platforms. CEO and co-founder Steven Dyme's company is also promoting love stories on its blog, featuring local couples who head some of the charities that Flowers For Dreams has supported.

Dyme spoke with Sarah Steimer about his company's marketing campaign around Valentine’s Day, as well as year-round branding efforts.

Also be sure to check out previous episodes here.

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Why you must Market to Single People this Valentine's Day

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Author Bio:

Sarah Steimer
Sarah Steimer is a staff writer for the AMA's magazines and e-newsletters. She may be reached at or on Twitter at @sarah_steimer.
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