14 February 2018

Kenya: Traveling Tops Spending for Kenyans Celebrating Valentines - Report

Nairobi — Kenyans are spending more on Travel on Valentine's Day than on other treats according to a new report by Mastercard.

The Mastercard Love Index reports that Kenyans are willing to dig deeper into their pockets to make their partners happy with spending related to travel increasing by 90 percent in 2017, accounting for 28 percent of total spend during Valentine's Day, with online transactions happening more frequently.

Hotel spend has also remained stable over the past three years; taking a 62 percent share of spend and a 48 percent share of transactions in 2017.

According to the report, the data supports the rise of the 'experience economy' as happiness is seen to come from creating lasting memories - worthy of posting on social media - instead of purchasing 'things'.

The spend on flowers and jewelry during Valentine, although higher than the norm, has decreased by 32 percent with transactions down by 56 percent compared to 2015.

"Spoiling your loved one on Valentine's Day shows no signs of slowing down. Our data suggests that while people still purchase traditional gifts, the move towards putting on a great experience trumps all," states the report.

The report also highlights that Kenyans are turning to online retail outlets to purchase their Valentines gifts, with a 183 percent increase in the number of e-commerce transactions taking place from 2015 to 2017.

"Technology is playing a key role in changing consumer behavior, helping people to search for their perfect gift online and having it delivered to their doorstep. This type of purchasing indicates some level of planning," says Chris Bwakira, Vice President and Area Business Head, East Africa, Mastercard.

Bwakira adds that consumer behaviour indicates that there is great potential in the online retail environment for businesses to expand their service and product offering, opening up new revenue streams.

So, are consumers planners or spontaneous shoppers when it comes to matters of the heart? The data suggest more planning is going into purchases with 74 percent of purchases being made on or before the February 11.

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