Mother’s Day 2020 coincides with a challenging and sensitive time. COVID-19 lockdowns and social isolation rules are having a major impact on consumer behavior and spending habits around the world – which means that consumer trends for Mother’s Day are also affected. How? Let’s take a look.
Consumers Going Back to Products
In recent years, the “special outings” category has grown substantially as a Mother’s Day gift option. This includes spa treatments, restaurant meals, and the like. In 2019, the National Retail Federation predicted that 55% of shoppers would purchase a special outing for Mother’s Day, to the tune of a total $4.6 billion. Fast forward to 2020, and purchasing “experiences” for mom to enjoy is no longer an option.
Yet, enthusiasm for Mother’s Day during COVID-19 is still high, with 78% saying it is important to celebrate. What’s changed is the type of purchases – electronics, homewares, gardening accessories, and books are all seeing an increase in demand. The market has moved away from “experiences” and back to products.
As consumers are confined to their homes, they are turning to online shopping and home delivery in massive numbers. Brick and mortar retailers are adjusting their operations to accommodate online purchases, and – make no mistake – the pressure’s on. For example, Myer, the famous Australian department store, has restored its “click and collect” service before Mother’s Day to cope with the expected spike in orders.
Even Amazon, the world’s retail giant, is having trouble coping with the surge in internet shopping. It has removed its “suggested products” widget to discourage customers from overloading their shopping carts and reduce the strain on the already overworked fulfillment chain.
How E-commerce Companies Can Compete on Mother’s Day
With online shopping at a high, and increased purchases of products rather than outings or experiences, e-commerce retailers who already have a good infrastructure in place are in a great position to compete for a piece of the Mother’s Day action.
Here are some e-commerce marketing tips to help you boost sales during the annual celebration of Moms:
Put the spotlight on the right products
Make your merchandise stand out by putting Mother’s Day front and center in your e-commerce store. You can create a special page or section, with a homepage banner that links to it. Another option is to create a gift guide for Mother’s Day, highlighting different products or offers especially suited for Mother’s Day. Take a look at what Apple has done this year. Its gifts page starts with a bold heading, “Gifts to truly make your Mother’s day”, and a scroll down the page showcases a range of products suitable for mom with eye-catching headlines and graphics.
Think of ways to connect with the current situation
There’s no denying the incredible impact COVID-19 has had on all of our lives, so don’t hide it from your e-commerce customers. Rather, look for ways to connect them to your products and offerings, and make it easier and more comfortable for them to shop with you over the competition.
For example, D2C maternity wear and pregnancy self-care brand Hatch has launched a digital community to support expectant mothers in this stressful time, and offers home delivery and virtual stylist services while its stores are closed.
In the traditionally conservative jewelry industry, a popular Mother’s Day category, jewelers are turning to e-commerce strategies to stay in the game during COVID-19. Virtual appointments, online “design-your-own” jewelry services, and drive-through pick up for local customers who may feel uneasy about shipping an expensive jewelry piece – these are just some of the shifts to creative e-commerce solutions taking place in the consumer market today.
Promote big on social media
If you thought social media marketing was important before, it is now more than ever. In a March 2020 survey, over 40% of respondents said that if they were isolated at home, they would increase their use of social media.
For Mother’s Day 2020, when consumers are searching for gift ideas almost exclusively online, e-commerce companies should leverage any assets they have to boost Mother’s Day exposure and sales on their social media pages. Blog posts, product pages, discounts, offers, online events – now is the time to promote content that can help put your e-commerce brand in the limelight. Repurpose social media posts and ads for Mother’s Day with fresh graphics, a change of color, or a new catchy headline. A few simple changes to existing assets can be enough to generate a social media buzz around Mother’s Day purchases.
Also consider other channels
There are several other channels that e-commerce companies can try, beyond the usual social media platforms. Some of them even bring surprising results. Did you know that SMS marketing messages get open rates of 98%? Or marketing emails have an average open rate of over 17%? Native advertising is much more effective than display advertising because native ads don’t look like ads. This increases the chance that the customer will actually click. Before a lucrative holiday like Mother’s Day, diversify your digital strategy and try out different channels. You could be very surprised by the results.
Don’t forget mobile
Mobile is not just the preferred choice when on the go. Now that people are spending far more time at home, mobile usage has increased too. A comparison between March 2019 and March 2020 demonstrates that people are on their mobiles 38% more this year. From 2018 to 2019, mobile purchases of Mother’s Day gifts in the UK jumped 11%, so it can be expected that Mother’s Day shopping on mobile will surge even more this year as online purchases increase overall, worldwide. Now is definitely not the time to be skimping on responsiveness.
E-commerce companies should already be investing in making their online stores mobile friendly and customer friendly.
Offer post-COVID-19 gift cards or offers
Although it feels like the COVID-19 period will last forever, it won’t, and sooner or later, consumers will return to shops, outings, and experiences. If your e-commerce offering is not suitable or available during the lockdown, consider promoting gift cards and discounts that can be used when the crisis is over. Make sure to include a very generous time period in which the gift can be claimed. For example, you can state that the offer is valid for up to 1 year. Of course, this needs to be strategized properly to ensure the company can afford to delay delivery of the offer. If it can be done, then it’s a great way to boost sales and income today, and secure customer engagement in the future.
Incentivize where you can
Incentives are a tried and tested way of persuading customers to click and convert. Especially during a difficult time, like COVID-19, consumers are even more open to spoiling themselves and others with tempting offers. Mother’s Day is a celebration of love and thanks, so it’s a ripe opportunity to show customers you appreciate them and prompt them to buy. Check out how Pandora jewelry is doing it this Mother’s Day – a free gift for the buyer with every Mother’s Day purchase over $125, promoted under the inspired slogan, “Double up the love this Mother’s Day.” After all, who wouldn’t want to ‘double the love’ in the age of coronavirus?
The “Great Lockdown” of 2020 may be the start of a seismic shift towards online shopping, larger than we’ve ever seen before. With Mother’s Day on the horizon, it’s the perfect time for e-commerce sellers to up their game, in preparation for the special holiday and even for the post-COVID world that awaits us on the other side.