More and more Swiss people are buying Valentine's Day gifts online and cashless: the proportion of online purchases in this country has risen by 147% since 2015. In a European comparison, the increase in Switzerland is therefore well above the average (93%) and even in second place behind Turkey, where the number of online purchases has risen by an incredible 213% since 2015. Bringing up the rear is Russia, where the number of online purchases around Valentine's Day has only grown by 6% since 2015. This is one of the findings of the "Mastercard Love Index" - an analysis of credit, debit and prepaid card transactions that Mastercard has been conducting annually between February 11 and 14 since 2015.
Regional preferences: Irish travel on Valentine's Day, Belgians go out to eat
The popularity of e-commerce in Switzerland is particularly evident on a day like Valentine's Day: the number of online transactions around February 14 has risen by 754% in Switzerland since 2015. This puts Switzerland in first place and, together with Italy (693%) and Belgium (632%), sets it apart from the rest of Europe.
The Irish are the top spenders. They have discovered Valentine's Day for themselves in recent years and spend 83% more money on Valentine's Day gifts compared to 2015. However, spending in other European countries also increased by an average of 19 percent.
However, it can also be observed that when it comes to choosing gifts, shared experiences are becoming increasingly popular. The number of transactions for a meal together also increased by 53% in Switzerland, while the number of transactions for hotel accommodation rose by 10%. Transactions for trips recorded an increase of 18 percent. With a total of 94%, shared experiences thus accounted for the largest share of total Valentine's Day spending among the Swiss.
Here, too, there are regional differences within Europe: while Belgians spend the most on restaurant visits at 62 percent, the figure is only 6 percent for the Irish and 31 percent for the Swiss. Giving the gift of an overnight stay in a romantic hotel suite for Valentine's Day? The Spanish lead the way here, spending almost one in two euros on hotel accommodation (47%). Switzerland is in the middle of the field with 29 percent, with Russia bringing up the rear: There, hotel bookings only account for 10 percent of total spending. When it comes to traveling, no one beats the Irish in a European comparison - travel accounts for 80 percent of total spending here (Switzerland: 34 percent). In contrast, the Dutch prefer to stay at home: only 4 percent of expenditure here is spent on travel.
Most presents are not bought until February 14
Only very few Europeans buy their Valentine's Day gifts in advance. Only in Switzerland, the Netherlands and England are more or the same number of gifts bought in advance, at just under a third (28%). In all other countries, the majority of gifts are bought at the last minute on February 14: in Slovakia, 38% of gifts are bought at the last minute.
While spending is increasing almost everywhere, there are also products on which less money is being spent today. For example, the Swiss spent 6 percent less on jewelry, even though the number of transactions increased by 13 percent. Flowers, on the other hand, are a perennial favorite in Switzerland: spending has risen by 58% and the number of transactions by 97% in recent years.
The payment process can be quick and uncomplicated if the gift is paid for contactlessly. More and more consumers are recognizing this - the proportion of contactless transactions has risen by 119% in Switzerland since 2015 and by an average of 272% across Europe.