Bargain reports and analytics

Valentine’s Day in Singapore: what women want and what men really think

PicodiFebruary 4, 2019

What are the expectations of Singaporeans towards the holiday of love? What does the perfect Valentine’s Day look like according to women and men? Which gifts are the most expected and which should be avoided? Picodi Analysis Team decided to look into one of the most commercialised holidays in the world and check how much love is still there.

How much Singaporeans spend on Valentine's Day

The popularity of this holiday is evident if you look at the number of Singaporeans who declare that they celebrate Valentine’s Day — a staggering 54%. Although an overwhelming majority of people prepare a surprise mainly for their significant other, there are some who don’t leave out their friends (30%) or relatives (6%).

An average Singaporean is going to spend S$140 on a Valentine’s Day gift. Men spend around S$57 more than women do: S$155 vs S$98.

What’s interesting is that more than half (52%) of Singaporeans don’t think about Valentine’s Day gifts until February. This is consistent with Picodi’s internal data, according to which we can observe a spike in shopping activity around two weeks before Valentine’s Day. Especially in demand are products such as jewellery or perfumes. 8% of Singaporeans leave shopping until the last moment — 13th and 14th of February.

Women’s take on Valentine’s Day

What women want for Valentine's Day

What is it that sparks joy in a woman’s heart on Valentine’s Day — a gift, displays of affection and love or perhaps a promise of commitment? The survey results show that both material and non-material aspects are equally important for the majority of women (54%). 19% of women find gifts to be important on Valentine’s Day whereas 27% of respondents would rather spend time with their partner.

Women chose flowers (49%), jewellery (49%), gift vouchers (46%), sweets (43%) and perfumes (37%) to be the perfect Valentine’s Day gift whereas sex toys (23%) and money (20%) were deemed as unpopular gift choices. Interestingly, flowers, gift vouchers and jewellery were also voted as the least desirable gifts.

What is the perfect way to spend Valentine’s Day according to women? The survey results don’t give the perfect recipe for a successful Valentine’s Day date, however, among the most popular activities were going to the movies (42%), having a romantic dinner in a restaurant (42%), cooking dinner together (24%), going out of town (22%) and spending time actively (20%).

It turns out that relaxing doing nothing is a bad idea (24%), same as seeing a play (15%), going to a concert (12%) or playing board games (12%). Spending time actively turns out to be a controversial idea — 14% of women chose it as a poor way to spend Valentine’s Day.

Men’s take on Valentine’s Day

What men want for Valentine's Day

The answers of the surveyed men show that pleasing them can be more difficult than pleasing women. 18% of men expect a material gift from their partner, 39% does not want any gifts but they would like to spend time together with their significant other and 43% declares that they would like to get both.

The most desired gifts:

  • Clothing (56%)
  • Valentine’s Day card (39%)
  • Perfumes (28%)
  • Money (27%)
  • Electronic devices (25%)

The least desired gifts:

  • Sweets (31%)
  • Valentine’s Day card (27%)
  • Flowers (25%)
  • Underwear (24%)
  • Sex toys (22%)

Valentine’s Day cards seem to have stirred quite a controversy among men since they voted those items as both the most and least desirable gifts.

What does the perfect Valentine’s Day look for men? In this case, they partially agree with the fairer sex: men would like to go to the cinema or a restaurant, watch a movie at home, spend time actively or cook dinner together. The list of unfortunate Valentine’s Day dates among men looks almost the same as the one compiled by women.

Because the thought is all that matters

How much money people spend on Valentine's Day gifts around the world?

On average Singaporeans spend S$140 on gifts (around $102), which places them in the top 10 of the ranking. They spend less than Hongkongers ($117) and Chinese ($107) but more than Australians ($101).

Valentine’s Day drives the economy the most in Ireland, Thailand and the UK, where more than $120 is spent on average on gifts. People don’t splurge on gifts in India ($35), Belarus ($34) and the Philippines ($33).


This report is based on results of a survey conducted in the second half of January 2019 among 6400 people from 38 countries where Valentine’s Day is celebrated. For currency conversion, we used the average exchange rate for January 2019.

Public Use

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