Love is in the air … and not just for folks who celebrate Valentine’s Day! Valentine’s Day is a key time for brands looking to capitalize on seasonal marketing to re-engage and retain their customers. For brands looking to convert American consumers, it’s also a high impact time given its proximity to Super Bowl Sunday, one of the most impactful events for advertisers of the year.

If your brand is looking for a way to activate new and returning customers in Q1, look no further. Whether you’re a retail brand selling flowers and chocolates or not, there are many ways to leverage Valentine’s Day to retarget your best customers. Keep reading to learn the latest data and best practices for your Valentine’s Day app retargeting campaigns.

Valentine’s Day Buying Trends

According to the National Retail Federation, total spending on Valentine’s Day 2023 topped a whopping $25.9 billion. This was up from $23.9 billion in 2022, and the second-highest year on record for Valentine’s Day shopping. Per person, in 2023, the average individual spent $193 on Valentine’s Day. This was a $17 increase per-person in spending year-over-year.

For certain age groups, spend per-person spiked markedly in 2023. Notably, individuals in the 35 to 44 age group spent $142.91 more than the average consumer with an average $335.71 in per-person spending.

Spending Increases for Lovers AND Friends

While consumers still spent the most on a romantic partner in 2023, Valentine’s Day spending also increased for other loved ones in 2023. Last year, more consumers than ever bought gifts for friends, co-workers, pets, classmates and teachers. Total spending for these groups reached $7.1 billion, up from $5.2 billion in 2022. The last time Valentine’s Day gifts for loved ones spiked this high was in 2020 at $7.6 billion.

Valentine's Day Mobile Retargeting

Source: National Retail Federation


Consumers Continue to Fall in Love with Experiences

Top gifts on Valentine’s Day continue to be the token staples we know and love. In 2023, most consumers bought candy (57%); followed by greeting cards (40%), flowers (37%), an evening out (32%), jewelry (21%), gift cards (20%) and clothing (19%).

One of the highest rising categories of gifts in recent years has been the gift of experiences. In 2023, about one-third (32%) of shoppers gave an experiential gift. This was 6% higher than 2022.

Valentine's Day Mobile Retargeting

Source: National Retail Federation

Interestingly, more individuals surveyed last year said they would love to receive a gift of experience than individuals who said they were planning to give a gift of experience. This shows a rising opportunity for event or service-based brands to market their gifts to an interested audience.

Craft the Perfect Valentine’s Day App Retargeting Strategy 

It’s clear from the data that shoppers are active on Valentine’s Day — especially on mobile apps. According to Adjust, across verticals, apps see a 9% increase in installs compared to the monthly average. Here are five ideas to leverage this spike in your app retargeting strategy.

Give the Gift of Discounts, Upgrades and Offers

Like any holiday, Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to show some love to your returning customers via special offers. This might include a limited time discount for a subscription, product upgrades or a special collaboration offers. Strategic collaborations like Instacart and Peacock’s recent partnership — in which all U.S. Instacart subscribers obtained Peacock’s streaming service at no additional cost — are a smart way to use the theme of “relationships” to tap into new audiences and solidify existing customers with additional services.

Take a Unique Messaging Approach

There are many ways to capitalize on Valentine’s Day messaging that don’t necessarily have to center around romantic relationships. Depending on your business, leverage a Valentine’s Day tone that fits your brand voice. This might include focusing on women-centered Galentine’s Day promotions, taking an Anti-Valentine’s angle or promoting products via a “Treat Yourself” mentality.

High-performing app retargeting campaigns often hinge on strategic segmentation. With that in mind, consider taking a specific Valentine’s Day messaging angle based on the segment you are marketing to. For women in the Millennial age group, this might be a Galentine’s Day-inspired promotion. For Gen Z, this might be an Anti-Valentine’s Day campaign.

Target Users on Dating Apps

According to Splitmetrics, there are currently 300 million dating app users in the world with 20 million users paying for premium services. According to Pew Research, around 35% of Americans who've used a dating app or website have paid for the service at some point.

What’s a good way to get your brand in front of users? Target them on dating apps. As Valentine’s Day falls just over a month after Dating Sunday, the first Sunday of the year, when dating apps see an extraordinary spike in organic usage, it’s also a great time for dating apps to retarget users to re-open their app and check their matches.

Suggest Last-Minute Gift Ideas

Listen, Q1 is a busy time of the year. Many people make their Valentine’s Day gift purchases last-minute. Leverage this rush by allocating more spend to your app retargeting campaigns in the two weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day. You could also recommend last minute gift ideas personalized to users’ interests. For a food delivery app this might include restaurants for a romantic night in. For a travel app, this might include romantic destinations for a future couples trip.

Recommend Ways to Treat Yourself

Many people choose to forgo Valentine’s Day altogether in the name of anti-consumerism and singleness. For these customers, suggest ways they can invest in self-love and self-care. If you're a streaming app, this might be a list of recommended films based on a user’s past viewing history for a cozy night in. On the other hand, for a game app, this might be a lightning round in a game level that a player left off from.


  • Valentine's Day Spending Trends: In 2023, Valentine’s Day spending hit $25.9 billion, with significant increases in spending on friends, co-workers, pets, classmates, and teachers, reaching $7.1 billion.
  • Experiential Gifts Rising: Experiences are becoming increasingly popular gifts, with 32% of shoppers giving experiential gifts in 2023, indicating a growing market for event or service-based brands.
  • Mobile App Engagement: Valentine’s Day sees a 9% increase in app installs, presenting a prime opportunity for retargeting strategies.
  • Creative Discounting and Offers: Special offers, such as discounts or product upgrades, tailored for Valentine’s Day can re-engage returning customers and attract new ones.
  • Diverse Messaging: Adopt various Valentine’s Day messaging strategies, from Galentine’s Day promotions to Anti-Valentine’s campaigns for different customer segments.
  • Targeting on Dating Apps: With millions of users on dating apps, targeting these platforms can be a strategic move, especially post-Dating Sunday.
  • Last-Minute Gift Promotions: Capitalize on the last-minute shopping rush with targeted ads and recommendations for quick gift solutions.
  • Self-Care and Anti-Valentine’s Campaigns: Appeal to customers who opt out of traditional celebrations by suggesting self-care activities and products.


Ready to reconnect with your users? Request a meeting with our team to craft a compelling in-app retargeting strategy that reactivates and re-engages your top customers.