Posted by Brandon Weaver on Fri, Feb 14, 2014 @ 09:44 AM
Even though the National Retail Federation estimates that consumer spending for Valentine’s Day will be down this year, today will still be one of the biggest consumer spending holidays, expected to account for $17.3 billion in sales. Men drastically outspend women for this holiday, about double to be exact. Even in a down year, PriceGrabber found that “Consumers don’t always buy based on the lowest price. Brand loyalty and product features matter, as do merchant ratings and ease of purchase.” Aside from the surge of marriage proposals, flower bouquets delivered, and pounds of chocolate consumed, there are some elements to Valentine’s Day store managers should expect from their customers:
Extended Stay Gifts in Higher Demand
With the holiday falling on a Friday this year, coupled with Presidents’ Day, many couples may opt for a longer celebration over the weekend. This may mean overnight trips, bed and breakfast stays, and even massage packages as opposed to just a movie night or dinner. To that end, people are buying more high-end or specialty seasonal products and packages. This bodes well for managers who sell products outside the traditional Valentine’s gifts: cards, candy, flowers, and jewelry.
Couples are Not Alone Receiving Love
A recent survey finds that what men prefer to buy women does not always coincide with what women want. For example, 60.3% of men will buy flowers, but only 36.9% of women even want them! Instead, women respondents would actually prefer dinner. That being said, significant others are not the only people who get love on Valentine’s Day. Millions of people will spend on family members (59.4%), friends (21.7%), teachers (20.4%), and colleagues (12.1%). Even pets will get their share of love too with 19.4% of Americans spending an average $5.51. After all, pets are family members and need love too, right?
Consumers are Sweet on Convenience
Even though men and women differ on what to give and receive, one thing they can agree on is the preference for a convenient shopping experience. But don’t forget to offer multiple payment options, too. Plus, it is hard to beat the actual in-store shopping experience. Specifically, PriceGrabber found that “53 percent of respondents said they shop at brick and mortar stores because they like to see the product in person before they make a purchase.” This is where checks can be especially handy because they’re a familiar payment method and do not have interest rates and fees attached to them like credit cards.
Whether you’re a retailer who offers customers low ticket items such as cards or candy, or larger value items such as jewelry or hotel packages, being flexible with payment options is essential to you and your customers. The sweet spot of accepting check payments is because consumers continue to want to write checks in large numbers. Remember the old adage when it comes to gift giving? “It’s the thought that counts.” The same principle can be applied to consumers. Show your customers you’ve thought about their payment preferences by accepting check payments.
Why not enjoy some convenience yourself with Remote Deposit Capture? Even with an expected decline in spending this year, chances are you’re not going to want to make repeated trips to the bank for deposits. That’s where RDC comes in, because the service frees up more of your time to be more productive.
Let Remote Deposit Capture be your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day. Download the free guide below and start learning how to get paid faster, while being more productive and enjoying more free time. Now isn’t that as sweet as a box of chocolates?