Mother’s Day is an important retail holiday the world over. It is estimated that Brits spent over half a billion on products for Mothering Sunday in 2015 alone. Data from our affiliate network backs this up as we saw sales rise by 31% YoY and orders by 42% in 2016.

While flowers and chocolates are staples of the occasion, fashion and luxury items are noticeably on the rise, representing 76% of sales placed through our network for our top 10 advertiser verticals in 2016. This move is indicative of a shift in consumer attitudes—from impulse-led purchasing to careful and considered gifting.

As luxury retailers prepare for the occasion, we sat down with one of our Client Service Managers, Belinda Aylward to discuss the creative trends marketers should follow to guarantee the success of their campaigns in the run-up to the biggest gifting event of spring.

Pull at your audience’s heartstrings

Standing out from the crowd during promotional times such as Mother’s Day is becoming increasingly more difficult for brands. Consumers are hit with so many different advertising messages in all channels, online and offline, it is important that marketers create cross-channel, well-rounded campaigns. It is also imperative that your message is not focused on selling. Instead, your retail holiday campaigns should tell a story and this should be extended across all channels, to offer shoppers a consistent experience.

We tell ourselves that we are rational beings. However, most people’s daily decisions are driven by emotions rather than logic. What we perceive triggers emotions in our brains and in turn thoughts that inform our actions. Consumers are affected by the same emotional response mechanism: make purchases based on the emotions that a brand is able to elicit within us. Therefore, your campaign’s assets should be pulling at your audience’s heartstrings instead of always being solely discount-driven—even more so around emotive occasions such as Mother’s Day!

Despite it being one of the best ways to prompt an emotional response, most advertisers fail to employ the art of storytelling to their creatives. By applying storytelling to our creatives, we help our clients achieve higher engagement—which has been proven to boost brand loyalty.

Fashion retailers do not sell clothes, they assist consumers with the expression of their individuality. Hotel websites do not sell hotel rooms, they help travellers make great memories. We help the brands we work with tell their stories through creatives that are not simply a way of generating sales but an extension of the brand’s mission. What is your story?

Last minute is so last year

As luxury gifts carry a bigger price tag, it is less likely consumers will part with their money on an impulse purchase for their mothers. Therefore, we encourage brands to create campaigns that remind shoppers of the occasion. Plan ahead for your customer’s (and your own) sake. Launch your campaigns at least two weeks before Mother’s Day.

Encourage the celebration of mothers and thoughtfulness over last-minute gifting. After all, mother always knows best and she will most certainly appreciate a considerate purchase rather and a supermarket-bought bunch of wilted flowers. A jewellery manufacturer and retailer worked with us last year to put out the message of celebrating mothers. Their campaign drove great engagement and revenue—delivering a 25:1 ROAS and £76 RPM. We attribute the success of the campaign to the point they decided to highlight: honour your mother.

It is also a good idea to include a delivery countdown. The modern consumer expects to be able to purchase online, across all devices, and in-store. Therefore, your approach should be multichannel. Including a reminder of delivery timeout is not only sensible but acts as a further prompt to treat mum and it helps create buzz around the day and your campaign. Even more so when you include ‘free delivery’ as part of your message.

As bold as mum

Online environments are cluttered. To be noticed, make a statement with your campaign: be intrepid with your creatives and do not be afraid to use striking colours and daring statements. Product carousels always work best. These showcase a range of inspirational choices to customers and produce more interactions. A product feed with your bestselling products fitting the occasion aids the customer in their consideration stage and generally have a higher conversion rate.

To generate further excitement, ensure your Mother’s Day campaigns use a unique hashtag. A British cosmetics and skin care company we worked with on a Mother’s Day campaign last year benefited immensely from the use of a unique hashtag for the occasion. Hashtags can help you boost impressions, make your content more discoverable, and spark a conversation around your brand. The aforementioned retailer benefited from having a gift finder creative which featured a hashtag that encouraged consumers to treat mothers and also included a delivery countdown. By putting our advice into practice, this retailer’s creative had the highest engagement rate.

Coming Soon!

With the triggering of Article 50 looming, retailers are becoming increasingly anxious about the effects Brexit might have on sales—including how key dates in the retail calendar might be affected. However, fear not: our upcoming Post-Brexit Marketing report—produced in partnership with Centre for Retail Research—indicates that consumers won’t be deterred from premium purchases—even if price rises ensue as a direct consequence of Brexit.

About Belinda

Belinda has worked in digital advertising for 2 years, looking after both publishers and advertisers. She has worked with an impressive portfolio of clients and household brands across a multitude of verticals—including travel, recruitment, beauty, and fashion.

Fun facts about Belinda:

  • She has a wonky pinkie on her left hand
  • She’s a confessed shopaholic, forever convinced she has nothing to wear!
  • She loves a cardboard box “surf” down stair “slides”…