Lovers in the UK will not be as well prepared for Valentine’s Day as previous years, according to new research by charity shopping company, Give as you Live.

One third of shoppers (36%) will make a purchase anywhere from a week to a few days before Valentine’s Day, yet less than one in five (17%) will snap up a gift for their significant other between a week to a month in advance.

Although the last-minute shop is a relatively new phenomenon for Valentine’s Day, Polly Gowers OBE, CEO and founder of Give as you Live, felt it really came to prominence in the days leading up to last year’s festive period.

“This trend of becoming a last-minute nation reared its head during the busy Christmas period too, with retailers such as Amazon, ASOS and John Lewis extending their next day delivery date up until the December 23,” Gower said.

“Options such as click and collect and express delivery can be the difference in the consumer decision making process as well as helping to drive e-commerce sales during the busy Valentine’s season.”

Sales spike

Give as you Live is not alone in surmising that the days of the last-minute Valentine’s shopper are upon us, Rakuten Marketing backed up this purchasing prognosis with historical online shopping data of its own.

The company’s affiliate marketing arm, Rakuten LinkShare, failed to disclose any specifics, but it did record a flurry of sales eight days before Valentine’s Day.

Cost is becoming more of a feature when UK shoppers consider what to buy those they hold dear to them. Year-on-year, LinkShare noted that the average basket size dropped by 20% in 2013.

On the other hand, Give as you Live found that Brits will shell out an average of £28 per person on gifts. Men are the bigger spenders though, choosing to buy items totting up to £34 on average, whereas women allocate themselves a budget of £23.

Prospering beauty sector

Sectors that benefited from an influx of custom in the run up to Valentine’s Day on the network were those that counted flowers, jewellery and luxury items in their product range. In particular, the beauty sector saw a massive spike in the lead up to Valentine’s Day.

However, LinkShare did reveal that Brits are better prepared than others elsewhere in the world, where the most purchases occurred two days before Valentine’s Day in 2013 from a global standing.

Give as You Live also uncovered almost a third (29%) of those polled in its 2,000-person survey spend absolutely nothing on Valentine’s Day gifts, a sad prospect for those in a relationship with these people.