According to Ruth Riviere, Country Manager for Mastercard New Zealand and Pacific Islands, “Kiwis are increasingly embracing Valentine’s Day however it’s often still very last minute—with people tending to rely on the speed and convenience of e-commerce and contactless payments to ensure their loved ones don’t miss out.” The annual ‘Mastercard Love Index’ is created by analysing credit, debit and prepaid card transactions over a three-year period between the 11th and 14th of February since 2016. What the study has revealed provides useful insight from which retailers can obtain insight into consumer behaviour trends.
Kiwi shoppers are embracing spontaneity this year with nearly a third of people purchasing last-minute romantic gifts on Valentine’s Day. Since February of 2016, sentimental spending has increased by 40 percent, despite the fact that the majority of Valentine’s Day spending still happens on the day itself.
Online shopping habits have also developed. Shoppers are placing increasing amounts of trust in e-commerce; the number of e-commerce transactions has increased by 87 percent from Valentine’s Day 2016 to Valentine’s Day, 2018.
General trends include an increase in the total amount spent by 15 percent, as well as an increase in the total number of transactions in restaurants by 28 percent. The amount spent on jewellery, however, has decreased 4 percent since 2016, whereas the amount spent on flowers has increased by 86 percent.
One colossal growth is in the number of people using contactless payment. The value of contactless transactions around Valentine’s Day in New Zealand rose by 222 percent, with a 220 percent increase in the number of transactions since 2016.
Riviere said, “The Mastercard Love Index—now in its fourth year—highlights key global and regional trends to uncover behavioural trends. What we’ve seen in New Zealand is a shift towards experiences, and last-minute shopping, which offers retailers some great insight into consumer buying habits during the Valentine’s Day period.”