With Mother’s Day right around the corner, brands need to understand how consumers are shopping in order to fully optimize their marketing strategies. By leveraging fresh data and insights to connect and engage with consumers in thoughtful, valuable ways, brands can lead shoppers through an experience that not only delivers on all expectations but also increases overall digital performance. Through analyzing our own proprietary data and additional trends within the industry, we’ve put together this insights-guide to create successful Mother’s Day marketing strategies to help brands better understand consumer shopping trends so they can exceed their holiday performance goals.
Know A Mother’s Wish List
What do mothers want? Many consumers are asking the same question. It’s up to the brands to understand what moms are hoping for so they can offer the right product options to their customers. According to eMarketer, the top five verticals during Mother’s Day are jewelry, flowers, gift cards, clothing, and consumer electronics (see graph below). Another popular wish-list item for moms is a “special outing,” such as dinner, brunch or travel.
The National Retail Federation expects similar gift trends in 2019. Flowers and cards are always a go-to item, but the NRF discovered that 25% of shoppers plan to gift a personal service. They also expect categories like consumer electronics and gift cards to rise. Another important aspect to think about is not only what moms want, but also what consumers are hoping to give their moms. The same NRF data found that 44% of Mother’s Day shoppers want to give a gift that’s unique or different, and 39% want to give a gift that creates a special memory. Brands should keep this in mind as they frame their holiday messaging.
Last year, Rakuten Marketing clients within the aforementioned verticals were able to increase their total site conversions by 15% YOY during the peak shopping time for Mother’s Day* due to knowing how and when to reach consumers shopping for the holiday. Brands should analyze their own product data and offer numerous incentives on the most popular Mother’s Day products to encourage consumers to purchase.
Monetize Your Mother’s Day Messaging
While it is important to understand what consumers are buying, it is equally as crucial to know when they prefer to purchase. According to Rakuten Marketing data, consumers typically begin researching Mother’s Day gifts about one to two weeks before making an actual purchase. Our affiliate data reveals the following times as peak weeks consumers purchase in key verticals (see graph below). Knowing that consumers typically start researching two weeks before each of these vertical peaks, brands can ensure timely, relevant ad experiences from beginning to end of the shopping journey.
Share The Knowledge
Gift guides have become a popular trend within the industry. As consumers begin to research a thoughtful gift for Mom, they’ll turn to gift guides for help. Content publishers are a great way to engage with consumers looking for gift inspiration. Whether it’s a gift guide to the “Most Stylish Sunglasses” or “25 Bookish Mother’s Day Gifts for Moms Who Love to Read,” there are so many different products that can be leveraged when creating a thorough gift guide for consumers.
Content publishers can offer genuine, first touchpoints with consumers that help shoppers find the perfect gift and can even help drive new consumers to a brand’s site. We took a look at the content benchmark in Rakuten Marketing’s affiliate network to discover when verticals within the content publisher landscape spike. This insight allows publishers to know the best times Mother’s Day content should be published and promoted.
According to the NRF, 8 in 10 consumers indicate they’re looking to retailers for Mother’s Day gift inspiration, and this is regardless of gender, age or income. So, brands should utilize publishers accordingly to capitalize on consumers’ gift inspiration needs.
Properly Engage The Mother’s Day Shopper
As brands become more and more educated on what consumers are looking for and when, they can deliver appropriate ads to increase engagement and purchases. We already revealed the best times to deliver Mother’s Day messaging, but it’s also essential to identify in what way consumers are shopping during this holiday.
It’s not surprising that as generations become more digitally-savvy, and mobile phones become more like mini-computers, mobile shopping popularity continues to increase. Mother’s Day is no exception. Consumers have used their mobile devices a great deal for researching and finding products – Rakuten Marketing search data revealed that in 2018, there were 3 million Mother’s Day related searches, with 74% of the searches originating on mobile devices. On the other hand, consumers are also using their mobile phones to make actual purchases as well – data from Rakuten Marketing’s display channel discovered mobile device conversions increased by 43% YOY in 2018 during Mother’s Day.
Another trend seen during last year’s holiday that our display data uncovered is the shift in budget by brands. Leveraging so many younger social media shoppers, brands increased their social advertising budgets for Mother’s Day by 82% YOY. Social advertising offers personalized, non-interruptive online experiences for consumers. These kinds of experiences are becoming more and more of an expectation and its critical brands deliver. Furthermore, the role of social and mobile working in tandem to drive ecommerce site referrals is currently growing as a trend in the industry, and marketers would be smart to leverage both these tools in future marketing strategies.
As we’ve seen through our data and industry trends, Mother’s Day is a holiday that brands should not ignore. In 2018, our display data reveals brands’ total site revenue increased by 15% YOY during the Mother’s Day shopping period. The NRF expects this yearly growth to continue into 2019 with an estimated $25 billion to be spent on the holiday. Advertisers, publishers and marketers should all be adjusting their marketing strategies to ensure they don’t miss out on the opportunity to grow their brand awareness and increase sales. Already in April of 2019, Rakuten Marketing has seen brands prepare for Mother’s Day by increasing their YOY budget in social and mobile advertising (29% and 34% YOY, respectively). In doing so, brands have already recognized successful total site growth in both revenue (31% YOY) and conversions (39% YOY).
*This number is based on same-store YOY clients running display efforts during the Mother’s Day shopping period.