With social distancing, gift-giving surges in Asia on Valentine's Day

MANILA — The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has upended every aspect of our lives— including the way we love. With 6 feet apart as the advisable distance, gift-giving fast became the safest quarantine love language.

The iPrice Group reported that online interest for romantic gifts among Asian countries (Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Malaysia) surged during the global pandemic. According to the e-commerce aggregator searches for the said presents in 2020 increased by 57 percent compared to the same period in 2019. 

“Couples were forced to transform their relationship into an LDR due to social distancing. It is not surprising that they would be compensating by sending each other thoughtful gifts,” iPrice said.

Data revealed care packages were the biggest hit during the lockdown. iPrice said search volume for the thoughtful present soared by 238 percent.

Scented candles followed closely as interest in the aromatic item skyrocketed by 236 percent.

“This may either be a romantic gift or a self-love purchase as people spent more time unwinding indoors,” iPrice noted.

Lingerie, another item often bought for a partner or for personal use, also piqued interest. The meta-search website recorded an 82 percent increase in searches for intimate wear.

Gathered data also suggested that flowers have not gone out of style in the new normal. The e-commerce aggregator explained the search volume of roses, flowers, and bouquet arrangements rose by 123 percent, 83 percent, and 49 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, chocolates, the classic (and literal) sweet gesture, experienced a 50 percent spike.

Although not frequently used in the new normal, interest in the pre-pandemic go-to gifts still shot up. Searches for jewelry climbed by 22 percent, while perfume grew by 18 percent.

According to iPrice, they are expecting “the same behavior at a higher volume” on Valentine’s Day.

“One thing’s for sure: Valentine’s Day will be celebrated with the help of the Internet,” it added. 

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