US consumers spent $3.9 billion on online purchases for Valentine's Day this year, a 30% increase from 2004, according to research from digital certification outfit VeriSign.
According to VeriSign's online shopping data, there was a 30% increase in online spending for the period from 1 February through to Valentine's Day compared to last year. The first day of the fortnight was the peak online shopping day, accounting for 5.3 million transactions and representing more than 10% of the activity recorded in the run up to Valentine's Day.
VeriSign says the strong growth in online sales was led by a 34% increase in the jewellery category. Diamonds led all subcategories with a 130% increase in overall consumer spending year over year. There were also increases in online purchases of sweets, flowers and cards.
Trevor Healy, VP, payment services, VeriSign, says growth in online sales for jewellery is a key indicator of increased consumer confidence in spending more money online: "We not only see that consumers are comfortable making big-ticket purchases online, but also buying sentimental and significant items through secured e-commerce sites."
Healy says this proves that online shopping has progressed past basic items, such as books and CDs, and is now providing new sales opportunities for merchants from all categories.