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Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue … Which States Love Their Valentine More Than You?

Janelle Kozyra

Love it or hate it — Valentine’s Day represents a welcome revenue boost for many retailers in what’s otherwise a traditionally slow shopping month. Americans approach the day with gusto, eagerly purchasing jewelry, flowers, candy, and trinkets for significant others, parents, children, classmates, and pets — yes, pets (to the tune of an estimated $681 million).

In the spirit of the political primary season, all this lovey-dovey spending got us thinking: Do all U.S. states feel the retail love at the same rate? Or more to the point, which U.S. states spend the most (and the least) on their loved ones on Valentine’s Day?

Retailers' AOV by State for the Valentine's Day Season

For another view of the findings, here’s a list of this year’s five biggest spender states by online AOV:

  1. Hawaii: $208.37
  2. Ohio: $174.91
  3. Arizona: $168.40
  4. New York: $165.99
  5. Nevada: $153.19

And the five states most likely to express their love without shopping:

  1. Mississippi: $43.50
  2. Vermont: $45.61
  3. Rhode Island: $48.32
  4. South Dakota: $54.32
  5. South Carolina: $56.07

The sun, the beach, Mai Tais — something put Hawaiians in a happy shopping mood this year, and who can blame them? But with Hawaii about 2,400 miles away from the continental U.S., shipping costs could have also helped to prop up the state’s AOV.

Looking at it differently, consumers might have tried to buy several items at once to keep their shipping costs down by avoiding multiple orders with multiple minimum shipping fees.

When we took location out of mix and calculated AOV across the board, we found Americans overall did in fact have a little more heart this year. AOV for Valentine’s Day 2016 was $61.45, up by 6% from last year’s $57.90.

While AOV is just one key metric for creating e-commerce strategies, a state-by-state look can give you insights into where you might want to geo-target your marketing campaigns, including any Google Shopping campaigns you’re running.

Retail’s New Valentine: Mobile Commerce

Regardless of where consumers shopped this Valentine’s Day, they can’t seem to get enough of mobile shopping. The growth we saw in mobile shopping during Holiday 2015 didn’t skip a (heart)beat this Valentine’s Day. 

When we looked at e-commerce sales from Feb. 1, 2016 to Feb. 14, 2016 and compared them to sales during the same period in 2015, we found that revenue from mobile devices grew by 23% YoY. Orders via mobile heated up, too, increasing by 13% YoY.

Tying everything together — we dug into AOV by device. AOV grew 10% YoY on mobile, from $51.40 in 2015 to $56.37 in 2016. AOV on desktop devices came in at $65.72 this year, up by 6% from $61.88 in 2015.

Even though AOV on desktop was about $9 higher than on mobile, mobile’s YoY growth edged out desktop’s growth, suggesting that mobile Casanovas are catching up to their desktop counterparts.

The NRF projected Valentine’s Day 2016 to break records — and it very well might. Though the NRF is still sifting through the data to calculate final results for the holiday, our findings underscore a big trend: Shoppers are in a serious long-term relationship with their mobile devices.

*Methodology: Total data is collected from 9.2 million user sessions on e-commerce retailers’ sites from Feb. 1, 2016 to Feb. 14, 2016, and from Feb. 1, 2015 to Feb. 14, 2015.

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