After Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Valentine’s Day is one of the most significant shopping holidays of the year. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we cover how brands across the mobile ecosystem can use the annual day of love to drive more engagement, conversions and higher ROAS with retargeting.

Valentine’s Day shopping trends

According to Statista, in 2022, Valentine’s Day spending in the United States reached approximately $24 billion. This represented a $2 billion increase from Valentine’s Day spending in 2021.

Who’s shopping on Valentine’s Day?

As we reported in our 2022 Valentine’s Day retargeting guide, 53% of consumers celebrated Valentine’s Day last year. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), 52% of this group was made up of men and 55% were made up of women, respectively. Notably, even though men made up a slightly smaller percentage of Valentine’s Day shoppers, they spent more than women. Male shoppers spent an average $235 per person versus female shoppers who spent an average $119.

The top-buying generation in 2022 were Millennials, ages 25-34, with 60% of Millennials shopping for Valentine’s Day. Millennials spent an average $245 per person. Following closely behind the Millennial age group was Gen X, ages 35-44. Fifty-nine percent of the Gen X generation shopped for Valentine’s Day. While slightly fewer Gen Xers shopped for Valentine’s Day in 2022 than Millenials, they spent more per person. The average amount spent per Gen X individual was $280 (versus $245 per Millennial, as noted above).

What are shoppers buying on Valentine’s Day?

According to the NRF, historically, the most purchased Valentine’s Day items are candy, greeting cards and flowers. In 2022, 56% of consumers bought candy, 40% purchased greeting cards and 37% shopped for flowers. Additionally, 31% of consumers spent money on an evening out. This represented a 29% increase year-over-year from 2021 when lockdown restrictions inhibited consumers from spending money on going out during the annual day of romance.

Who’s not celebrating Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day also inspires purchases by individuals who do not wish to celebrate the holiday itself. According to the NRF, in 2022, Gen Z had the greatest number of individuals who planned not to celebrate Valentine’s Day in the traditional sense. More than half of the Gen Z generation did not celebrate Valentine’s Day (51%). Instead, 29% of 18-24 year olds treated themselves on Valentine’s Day and 22% planned a get together with friends.

Valentine’s Day shopping trend highlights

Before we head into recommendations for each app category on Valentine’s Day, here’s a quick rundown of top takeaways of the aforementioned trends. These trends should be kept in mind by all apps as they retarget their users this Valentine’s Day.

  • Most shoppers buy candy, greeting cards or flowers on Valentine’s Day. Additionally, a growing number of consumers (31%) spend money on going out.
  • More women shop on Valentine’s day but men spend more: Male shoppers spend an average $116 more per person than female shoppers.
  • Millennials are the most active shoppers on Valentine’s Day: 60% of Millennials shop on Valentine’s Day and spend an average $245 per person.
  • Gen Z might not shop for Valentine’s Day, but they’re shopping nonetheless: 51% of Gen Z either make purchases to treat themselves or host a get together on Valentine’s Day.

Seasonal trends for Valentine’s Day retargeting

Grocery Apps

Since 2022, grocery apps have seen a steady rise in downloads and session times inline with rising inflation. This is due to a strategic emphasis on coupon and rewards advertising. According to Apptopia, grocery app reviews with the word “coupon” increased 75% from April to May 2022.

Following this trend, on Valentine’s Day, grocery app marketers should continue capitalizing on ‘smart savings’ messaging. This could entail retargeting consumers with ads that highlight rewards for the most-purchased items on Valentine’s Day: candy, greeting cards and flowers. Smart, seasonal copy can be used: “Save on your sweetheart” “Valentine’s Day deals to fall in love with”. As your brand crafts a campaign targeting strategy, keep in mind the highest-spending shoppers on Valentine’s Day — male shoppers in the Gen X generation.

Retail apps

According to NRF, 22% of consumers bought clothing and jewelry for Valentine’s Day gifts in 2022. This indicates that there’s an opportunity for retail apps to retarget customers highlighting items in these categories.

For many retail apps, the Cyber Five shopping season drove a marked increase in downloads. In fact, according to Apptopia, Black Friday weekend downloads broke a new record in 2022 with top shopping apps seeing a total of 9.3 million downloads; a 9% increase from 2021. Moving this growth from short term gains to long-term retention and LTV is key. With that said, retail apps should retarget new and active users on Valentine’s Day with seasonal gift messaging. Taking a page from grocery apps — highlight deals and strategic savings opportunities with quippy messaging inspired by the romantic theme of the season.

Delivery apps 

Consumers might be spending more money on going out, but delivery apps can still capitalize on macroeconomic trends to retarget their customers. For consumers looking to save money this Valentine’s Day by staying in, delivery apps can retarget users with Valentine’s Day promotions. This might include a round-up of romantic restaurants and meal ideas perfect for a night in. Utilize messaging that highlights the value of staying in versus going out: “skip the crowd this Valentine’s Day”; “who needs reservations when you can have a private dinner for two?”

As most consumers who make delivery purchases will likely do so last minute, make sure to target your ads at the right time. Serve ads to your best customers on the day of Valentine’s Day and highlight last-minute items they might be interested in. This might be a box of chocolates or a bouquet of edible flowers.

Streaming apps 

Valentine’s Day is a time of romance! With that said, retarget your top users with rom-com and romantic movie recommendations to get them to tune back into your app. Tailor your viewing recommendations to different generations. For example, for the majority of Gen Z that’s not interested in participating in Valentine’s Day, you might highlight a top list of “I love myself” movies that highlight themes of independence and the benefits of being single.

Game apps 

Reward your best players who might not have romantic plans with power ups and extra lives this Valentine’s Day. This will encourage user loyalty and longer session times, as players spend the holiday conquering subsequent levels of your game app.


With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s time to start crafting marketing campaigns to capitalize on one of the most popular holiday shopping events of the year.

  • Grocery apps: Retarget consumers with ads that highlight savings, deals and rewards for the most-purchased items on Valentine’s Day: candy, greeting cards and flowers.
  • Retail apps: Like grocery apps, highlight deals and strategic savings opportunities for the holiday. Focus on promoting jewelry and clothing, two of the most-purchased items of the season.
  • Delivery apps: Serve ads to your best customers on the day of Valentine’s Day and highlight last-minute items they might be interested in. This might be a box of chocolates or a bouquet of edible flowers.
  • Streaming apps: Retarget users with viewing recommendations tailored to their generation. For example, for Gen Z, your brand could recommend movies that highlight themes of independence and the benefits of being single.
  • Game apps: Don’t forget the players that might want to fall in love with your game app on Valentine’s Day! Offer rewards and promotions to increase session lengths and player loyalty.

Ready to make a valuable reconnection with your best customers this Valentine’s Day?

Is your brand in the mood for love? Fall in love with your best customers again and again by launching a mobile retargeting campaign this Valentine’s Day. Reach out to our team of mobile advertising experts to get started.