A Look at Consumer Trends on Mother’s Day

May is usually a busy month for many stores and businesses due to Mother’s Day happening in this month. Its celebration day varies by region, but since its inception in 1914, Mother’s Day has been one of the happiest days in the year for gift card companies, flower shops, and special occasion shops worldwide.

The National Retail Federation announced this year that Mother’s Day gifting and spending is planned to reach an all-time high. With a projected spending total of $23.6 billion it is now the third largest retail holiday in the country. This shows a more than $2 billion increase from last year. In terms of spending, it is very interesting to see how consumers are responding to this holiday, which is more important than many people realize.

On average, each shopper will spend an incredible $186.39 this Mother’s Day. While most of this will be for their mothers alone, some spend money on more than one mother in their life. For this most part, this would be their wife, but sometimes consumers also spend money on their sister or their daughter.

Mother’s Day vs. Father’s Day

According to Retail Points, a much larger amount of money is spent on Mother’s Day than on Father’s Day. In 2016, the National Retail Federation’s prediction for Father’s Day spending was only $14.3 billion. Although this was also an all-time high, it remains considerably lower than the spending seen on Mother’s Day.

Forbes has a number of theories as to why this is the case. The most plausible is perhaps that the mothers are traditionally the nurturers in the family. They are the sympathizers, but also the organizers. While dads traditionally earn the money to keep the household functioning, the mothers seem to play a much more tangible role in the lives of the children.

Another, quite interesting, reason could be that Mother’s Day falls at the start of spring. This is when the sun is out, the snow has melted and the atmosphere in the air is generally cheerful. People tend to feel more generous when they are in a good mood and it seems like the moms are really benefiting from this occurrence.

Gift card industry vs. electronic items

While the averages shows that Americans spend nearly $190 each for Mother’s Day, the majority of consumers still choose to spend their money on gift cards – 78% to be exact. While this could show that a gift card is merely one of the gifts, it could also be that a large amount of consumers spend small amounts of money on gifts cards while a small amount of consumers will spend a considerably larger amount of money on other gifts. This could include jewelry or even electronics. There is definitely a trend among consumers to supply their mothers with modern technological devices. While it is currently only 15% of consumer spending for Mother’s Day, it is significant to see where the larger purchases are located.

Special outings

Spending money on experiences is becoming increasingly important to consumers. These experiences could include a hot air balloon ride, a meal at a restaurant, or a day at a spa. The prediction for 2017 is that 56% will spend money on a special outing. This does not necessarily mean an outing for the consumer together with his/her mother. It could also indicate a gift that includes an experience for the mother alone, or the option of taking a friend or a husband with.

What is interesting to see is that almost half of those who purchase experiences are under the age of 35. This shows that the younger consumer sees more value in a gift that is not materialistic, but would give their mothers a memory instead.

Online or retailers

In a world where online shopping is becoming an increasingly dominant form of consumerism, it’s interesting to see how consumers are buying their Mother’s Day gifts. The largest group is still those who plan to visit a physical store. To be more precise, 35% of consumers are heading to department stores to purchase a gift for their mothers. The reason for this could be the variety and accessibility of a range of well-curated gifts.

The second largest category is still a group of consumers who prefer to purchase their Mother’s Day gifts in-store. 31% of consumers are planning to visit specialty shops, including jewelry stores, flower shops or electronics stores. This shows that a large group of consumers already know what they want to purchase, but still they decide to head out to a store to make the purchase.

While these two groups make up for two thirds of the consumers, there is a fairly large group who will be shopping online for their mothers – 30% to be exact. This number is up from 27% last year. This shows that online shoppers are definitely increasing, but when it comes to Mother’s Day, they are still in the minority.

While 34% of smart phone users will use their phones to research ideas, only 19% will end up making their purchases on their phones. Some of these purchases might be made from computers while others might have used their phones to find a retailer that sells the item they are looking for.

In order to increase their purchases for Mother’s Day, many online retailers are offering special deals and prices. For the most part, they will be offered free shipping in order to make up for the one price difference consumers may see between shopping online and shopping in-store.

Mother’s Day is a very important retail day around the world where it is celebrated and, looking at the trends, it is only becoming bigger in terms of shopping. Online retailers will do well to make their offerings more appealing, especially in terms of special experiences, while department stores should definitely look into opening an online store for themselves in order to tap into a market that is moving increasingly online.