Say it with clicks: consumers prefer to buy their Valentine’s gifts online

13 Feb 2013

Given the choice, up to 82pc of Irish consumers would be open to buying their Valentine’s Day gifts online rather than in a physical store, while 18pc would prefer to shop in a bricks-and-mortar store, new research claims.

The survey by online retail site Miinto found the top 3 reasons for preferring online shopping are variety, price and convenience.

Those who would prefer the physical store explained it was because they left it too late and were too disorganised to use the online purchasing option.

Similar research by Nightline Parcel Motel found that half of Irish people who shop online instead of with high-street retailers state the main reasons they do so is because it is ‘more convenient’ and ‘goods are cheaper’.

Other popular reasons include ‘the range of products available is better than high street shops’.

More than 30pc of those surveyed (33pc) stated that ‘waiting’ and the ‘uncertainty’ of whether their parcels will arrive on time or at all, was the worst part of shopping online. This uncertainty can quickly turn to frustration with nearly 20pc (18pc) of respondents rating ‘having to arrange a pick up’ if delivery has been missed as a top pet peeve.

How much will online spenders spend this Valentine’s Day?

Returning to the Miinto research, consumers surveyed were also asked to specify a price range they would spend for the Valentine’s Day, which ranged from €0 to €300 or more. The results illustrated that €0-€100 was the most popular amount spent on Valentine’s Day, with 80pc of the public choosing this range.

The figures dramatically dropped to 15pc of consumers spending between €100-€200, 3pc spending €200-€300 and 2pc spending more than €300. Those who spent between €0-€100 did so because they preferred to get something that was more thoughtful than expensive.

They explained Valentine’s Day was too commercial and were against spending a large amount on the occasion. Spending online would allow more of a variety to the price-sensitive consumer.

The overall general perception of Valentine’s Day was that it was for the most part a liked occasion. A large 85pc of people surveyed stated that yes, they did enjoy the occasion as it gave them an opportunity to spend time with loved ones and make an effort with one another. The remaining 15pc of people did not like the holiday as they felt it was too commercialised.

Valentine’s Day image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years