Serious romantics or bargain-hunting cupids? – UK consumers search for Valentine all year
London, 11 February, 2010 - In the lead up to Valentine's day, thousands of cupid-playing and romantic loving folk scour the high street and search online for that special something to convey amorous affection to their loved one or impress and woo their 'objects of desire'. However, if online search revelations from independent search marketing agency Greenlight are anything to go by, it would seem funny that Valentine lingers well beyond the confines of February. So are today's Brits serial romantics or shrewd shoppers, out to bag Valentine bargains? Might April and June truly be the least romantic months of the calendar? Is Santa beginning to cash in on Valentine's booty?
Using one of our proprietary technologies, Greenlight researched and determined the 30 most popular keywords and search terms used by UK consumers when they went online to look for Valentine-related items in February 2009.*
(Table 1 charting the top 10 of 30 most searched for valentine's terms in 2009, shows below. If you are unable to view it or would like to see the full listing, please contact the press office)
Table 1: Top 10 of the Top 30 valentine-related keyword search trends, Jan-Dec 2009
|Search Term||Monthly Average||Jan||Feb||March||Oct||Nov||Dec|
|valentines day gifts||9,289||39,900||63,300||633||633||1,276||1,900|
|valentines day flowers||2,013||3,200||16,000||640||480||480||480|
|valentine gift ideas||1,199||4,160||8,667||87||173||260||260|
|valentines day gift ideas||1,273||5,040||8,000||80||240||320||480|
|valentines day gift||952||3, 552||4,800||240||384||432||480|
|valentines chocolate||653||2, 240||4,667||140||93||140||140|
Rising dramatically in January and peaking in February, keywords with 'gift' and 'gifts', for example 'valentines day gift', were the most popular, accounting for a third of the top 30 keyword search terms. Within that, almost half were consumers searching for gift ideas eg. 'Valentine gift ideas'. Unsurprisingly Valentine's terms with the word 'flowers' (roses in particular) and 'chocolates' were the second and third most commonly searched for keyword tails. Lingerie, jewellery, hotels and restaurants also featured.
However, consumers did not seem to search for flights, hotels or restaurants in the same way. Hotels and Restaurants seemed to have missed the romantic trick of the click. Whilst the 30 most popular Valentine-related search terms were consistently searched for every month, Hotels and Restaurants were the exception. Over a period of six months, from March-August, not a single online search was made for the 22nd most popular Valentine search term 'valentines hotel deals'. It was a similar story for 'valentines day hotel deals' and 'valentines day restaurants'. No UK consumer online searches were made for three months in the case of the former (March, April and May) and two months in the case of the latter. (March and April).
Albeit at a dramatically reduced level, the findings show that UK consumers still continued to conduct online searches for the top 30 terms throughout the year in 2009. Interestingly, the number of searches rose in the last quarter in the UK, in some instances from as early as September although more pronounced in November and peaking in December.
"Similar to Christmas, we're seeing an increase in seasonal-specific searches ('Christmas/Valentine's gifts'), a lot earlier", says Hannah Kimuyu, Director of Paid Search at Greenlight. "For example, Christmas searches normally start in October, however we saw an increase from the beginning of September during 2009. One of the reasons being consumers are conscious of an increase in spend, reflective of the economy.
Consumers haven't stopped splashing the cash - but spending more time assessing what they're buying (taking longer to research). For advertisers the message is - get in early and make sure you are visible."