29% of Valentine's Day purchases take place on 14th Feb: Mastercard Love Index 2019
They say that love does not follow any plan - it just happens! This certainly seems the way for Indians, when it comes to celebrating love. The annual Mastercard Love Index, created by analyzing credit, debit and prepaid card transactions over a three-year period (11th-14th February 2016-18), reveals several insights about how Indians indulge in shopping during Valentine’s week.
In 2018, the Mastercard data showed that majority (29 percent) of Valentine’s purchases in India took place on 14th February. Given the convenience and range of choice offered by e-commerce, Indians have been increasingly choosing online shopping over in-store visits. As a result, the index notes a 241 percent increase in the number of e-commerce transactions from Valentine’s Day 2016 to Valentine’s Day 2018.
However, these tech-savvy Indian lovers continue to invest in traditional gifts such as flowers and jewelry to show their love. Therefore, the overall spend on flowers in 2018 increased by 67 percent as compared to 2016. Similarly, spends on jewelry has increased by 57 percent from 2016 to 2018. Apart from investing in material goods, people are also splurging on dining out. This has led to a 54 percent growth in the amount spent at restaurants since 2016.
The use of contactless technology in India continues to rise, faster than the global pace. During the Valentine’s week, the value of contactless transactions has increased by 1005 percent since 2017 compared to 229 percent globally for the same period. It is hardly surprising that contactless is the preferred method of settling the bill, given the ease, safety and security, and growing acceptance in the country.
The Indian economy has been witnessing an increasing adoption of digital payments, and this clearly reflects in consumer behavior around Valentine’s Day. Mastercard’s data shows that since 2016, sentimental spending has increased by 37 percent in India vis-à-vis 3 percent globally, with the overall number of transactions up by a staggering 113 percent in India vis-à-vis 8 percent globally. Indians are clearly ahead of the curve when it comes to making their Valentine’s Day purchases and interestingly, contactless payments are becoming very popular.