This Year’s Valentines To Be Colored Online Green 02/11/00

This Year’s Valentines To Be Colored Online Green 02/11/00 – Industry Trend or Event

Sherman Fridman

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, U.S.A., 2000 FEB 11 (NB) — “Love Is In The Air,” will be more than just a song title for e-merchants this Valentine’s Day, according to BizRate.com, an Internet shopping and merchant rating guide, which is forecasting that approximately 6.5 million Valentine orders will be placed, resulting in an estimated sales volume of $642 million.

In an interview with Newsbytes, Annette Glenekki, a BizRate.com analyst said that more than 30,000 online buyers participated in the survey conducted over a three-day period in January. This was done by the shopper clicking onto a separate window that appears on a merchant’s sales-receipt Web page, and answering questions that then appear on a questionnaire.

Based on their survey, BizRate.com is predicting that more than 50 percent of online buyers plan to purchase Valentine’s Day gifts over the Internet; and, most of this group, (87 percent), had not made a Valentine’s Day purchase online last year.

“The overwhelming number of consumers buying Valentine gifts online is further evidence that Americans are embracing e-commerce at a rapidly escalating pace,” said Paul Bates, vice president of information products for BizRate.com.

According to Bates, what promises to be a record Valentine’s Day for e-merchants comes on the heels of a Christmas season that showed a five-fold increase over the previous year.

As might be expected, survey respondents were about evenly divided in making flowers or e-greeting cards their top purchase choice. Least popular were gift certificates (8 percent) and travel (7 percent).

Only 14 percent of the total respondents felt that buying online is not romantic; a feeling held by almost twice as many men as women.

According to Glenekki, one point made by the BizRate survey was the appeal of the anonymity of online shopping. A sizable portion of both sexes (nearly one-fourth) felt that buying online avoids the embarrassment associated with purchasing intimate Valentine’s Day gifts from brick and mortar stores. Additionally, the survey found, 32 percent of men and 29 percent of women said that shopping online provides an outlet for them to purchase things that they would never buy offline in a retail store.

Nearly 80 percent of respondents said that their Valentine’s Day purchases were for spouses or “significant others,” with the rest buying for kids, co-workers, even pets.

Proving that love does not come cheap, 16 percent said that they would spend between $100 and $200 on Valentine’s Day presents, while nearly a third said the would spend between $50 and $100.

But even love-struck shoppers can be savvy, as 61 percent of the online buyers said that they would purchase more if offered a discount on Valentine’s Day items…presumably before Feb. 14.

Ten percent of the survey respondents either couldn’t stop themselves from buying gifts or else had a fond personal attraction, as this group said that they were the intended recipients of their own Valentine purchases.

Nearly twice as many men as women were likely to buy flowers, but those percentages were reversed when it came to sending e-greetings cards.

More information from BizRate.com is available at http://www.bizrate.com

Reported by newsbytes.com, http://www.newsbytes.com

(20000211/ Press Contact: Rebekah Pollex, 310-305-3506 /WIRES ONLINE, BUSINESS/)

COPYRIGHT 2000 Newsbytes News Network

COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group