Valentine’s Day may well be over for another year, but manufacturers and retailers alike can learn from online shopping trends around this $18.9 billion US holiday. In this blog, we look at the key pricing trends, which products were most popular, and which brands best capitalized on Amazon for Valentine’s 2015.
As in all areas of eCommerce, online shopping for Valentine’s was anticipated to grow this year. According to a survey commissioned by the National Retail Federation (NRF), 25% of Valentine’s Day shoppers planned to complete a portion of their shopping online.
Profitero monitors Amazon’s best sellers across 35 categories daily and we publish a subset of those categories each month in our Amazon FastMovers reports. For Valentine’s 2015, we analyzed the Candy & Chocolate Gifts category to determine when Valentine’s Day shopping online picks up, what are the key pricing trends, which products were most popular, and which brands best capitalized on those gifting trends.
Valentine’s Day gifting picked up in the first two weeks of February
Given the convenience of online shopping, faster delivery times driven by Amazon Prime, and the perishable nature of many Valentine’s Day gifts (i.e chocolate, flowers), it’s unsurprising that Profitero’s data confirms shopping for this holiday appears to pick up in the two weeks before Valentine’s Day.
In the first 13 days of February, 41 new items appeared in the FastMovers 100 for Candy & Chocolate gifts. 31 of these new products were explicitly Valentine’s-oriented, compared to just 8 product titles on the FastMovers 100 list in January.
Pricing became more dynamic in the pre-Valentine’s Day period, with an average of 5 price changes per product
In the two weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, each product on the FastMovers 100 in Candy & Chocolate saw an average of nearly 5 price changes. Among the top 10 products on the list, the price changed an average of 8 out of 13 days, compared to just 6 price changes per product across the top 100 products for the full month of January.
The average price of the Candy & Chocolate products on the FastMovers 100 in February was $21.99, down from $23.43 in January, perhaps due to greater competition for Valentine’s shoppers.
Gift boxes were the most popular pack configuration
55 of the 100 products in the FastMovers 100 for Candy & Chocolate were gift boxes, followed by gift bags and gift sets with 11 products each.
The majority of products—59—were priced under $20. And with 28 best sellers, a gift box in the $10-$19.99 range seemed to be in the sweet spot for Valentine’s Day gifting.
Product titles tailored to Valentine’s Day gifting topped the best sellers list in February
Product titles in February were highly gift-oriented and explicitly Valentine’s-oriented.
To catch the gift-oriented shopper’s eye, 62 products contained the word “gift” in the title. Capitalizing on the specific holiday, 35 products referenced “Valentine” in the title, “heart” was mentioned 21 times, and “love” made 15 appearances.
Chocolate products gained popularity leading up to Valentine’s Day: 58 products on the FastMovers 100 were chocolate-oriented in the 2 weeks before the holiday, compared to 45 in January.
Valentine’s-oriented product titles for generic candy & chocolate gifting products could, however, turn away non-Valentine’s Day shoppers who just want to buy chocolate gifts.
Top brands included Ferrero, Ghirardelli, Godiva, and Dove
Ferrero had the most products on the Candy & Chocolate Gifts in February, including the Ferrero Rocher Heart, 10 Count (#15). Dove tied for third with 6 products on the list but gained the category’s top spot with its Dove Valentine’s Truffle Hearts, Milk Chocolate, 6.5-Ounce Heart Tin (#1).
The best sellers list included smaller brands—such as Pistachio Gifts and Broadway Basketeers—that showed an opportunity for lesser-known brands to capitalize on gifting on Amazon.
Implications for retailers and brand manufacturers
Prepare for demand at the right time—ensure that stock levels are adequate and product content is optimized for the targeted shopper and occasion
Use holiday-specific keywords in product titles and descriptions to catch seasonal “spearfishers”
Price competitively (<$30) with assortment analysis
For the full results and analysis, subscribe to Profitero’sAmazon FastMovers reportsfor free monthly updates on best sellers across 12 Amazon product categories in the US and UK.
About Profitero’s Amazon FastMovers reports
In each country, Amazon updates its 100 best-selling products in each category hourly.
Profitero monitors these best seller lists in the US (more than 4.9 million products) and the UK (more than 2.1 million products) daily and analyzes products’ performance over specific time periods to produce a cumulative ranking of best-selling products. We release these FastMovers reports monthly for the following categories:
Grocery & Gourmet Food
Health & Personal Care
Toys & Games
Prime Pantry (Amazon US only)
Use the Amazon FastMovers reports to:
Identify strong-selling new products in your category, including launches from competitors
Benchmark high-performing products’ pricing, pack configuration, ratings & reviews, and other attributes
Gauge the importance of participating in Amazon programs such as Subscribe & Save and Prime Pantry