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BizReport : Ecommerce : February 20, 2013


Valentine's Day shoppers sought out bargains, last minute hotel deals

A new survey, conducted the day before Valentine's Day, reveals loved-up shoppers were big on ideas but short on cash, with most hunting out bargains and mobile users waiting until the last minute to book a romantic night away.

by Helen Leggatt

Your Valentine's gift probably cost less than you think. More than two-thirds (69%) of the 2,300 shoppers surveyed by Priceline.com admitted they had shopped for a bargain for their loved one this year.

However, most were prepared to put a bit of effort into Valentine's gifts with luxury hotels and dinner beating out flowers and chocolates for gifts they deemed "very romantic".

A third (35%) of participants in Priceline's survey had planned ahead and purchased gifts a week or more in advance. However, 38% waited until a couple of days before the big day and 9% shopped on Valentine's Day itself.

Priceline's survey also revealed that shoppers armed with the company's hotel booking app made their Valentine's arrangements at the last minute. Three-quarters (74%) of mobile users booking hotel rooms did so within 24 hours, or less, of checking in. Many waited until Valentine's Day itself to make a booking, of which 69% booked before 2pm and a seat-of-the-pants 11% made bookings after 9pm. Those who booked at the very last minute tended to book hotels that were close to home - 51% booked rooms in hotels that were no farther than 15 miles away.

The time between booking a Valentine's destination and the date of travel is getting shorter, found ebookers.com. Today, 22% of hotel bookings for a romantic break are left until less than three days before travel.

"As people are leading busier lives it's not surprising that we're seeing bookings left until the last minute," says Jessica Craker, UK Marketing Manager, ebookers.com. "There can be a lot of pressure to get it right on Valentine's Day and we understand customers just want it to be an easy decision when booking a romantic holiday."

Tags: consumer survey, consumer trends, gift, mobile shopping, Valentine's Day










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