Motherly Love: Mother’s Day Retail Trends

15 Mar 2023

As if we needed a reason to show appreciation to those who either raised or birthed us, Mother’s Day comes once a year to remind us. And this weekend, we expect many people will be travelling down to see their mothers — Mothering Sunday falls on the 19th of March in the U.K. and the 14th of May in The States. But what gift will they have in tow? Or does quality time suffice in these cost-of-living-crisis times?

Over 70% of Brits admit to buying a gift on Mother’s Day

The data tells us that over 70% of Brits admit to buying a gift on Mother’s Day, compared to 84% Americans — and in recent years spending has reached record heights. The sales expectation totalled $31.7 billion in 2022 in the US (up $3.6 billion from 2021's high record), and here in the UK, consumers were expected to spend £1.34 billion in 2021.

This said it looks like people love to get thrifty when it comes to present purchases. A recent study into 2022’s customer loyalty discovered that 41% of consumers aged 18-60 would join or have joined a loyalty program to get perks in time for their Mother’s Day shopping. So, if your brand is looking to connect with potential customers for this topical holiday, discounts, free shipping and gift-wrapping incentives certainly are the way to go. And social media is where to connect with them — 55% of consumers said they would engage with a brand on social platforms in exchange for an incentive for Mother’s Day.

With online purchases growing ever more popular post-pandemic, up 84% naturally, it makes sense to attract your consumers virtually. Demonstrating its digital savvy, Arena Online, the UK’s leading ethical flower business, just announced the launch of its first-ever livestream shopping event hosted on its website in an attempt to attract Gen Zers, who love themselves a live-video shopping situ. “We are delighted to announce yet another first for the floral industry,” states John Hackett, CEO of Arena Online. “As the UK’s most ethical florist we are always looking for ways to innovate and improve customer experience. With the addition of Daisy, our digital customer experience agent and now Live Shopping, we have made our shopping experience more accessible and transparent to all users.”

The definition of ‘mum’ is shifting

Online retailer Zulily has taken the customer journey further. After conducting their own research, the digital destination discovered that the definition of ‘mum’ is shifting. Now, 54% — that’s 34 million parents in the U.S. — agree that the concept of a mother has changed in the past 10 years, with people believing that ‘mom’ should be defined as a verb (86% of parents that say a "motherer" is a person who has a substantial role in bringing up a child with care and affection). In response, “we want to dedicate Mother’s Day to all those who ‘mother’: stepmoms, traditional moms, mothers-in-law, grandmas and all the mom figures who have loved and supported us,” states Denise Jaeschke, vice president of integrated customer marketing at Zulily. Looking to grow its customer base, Zulily teamed up with actress Busy Philipps to launch its ‘For All Moms Gifting Advisor’ initiative, a personalised text service that provides consumers with gift recommendations. But what are people buying?

Flowers, jewellery and experience-oriented gifts all ranked high on the list last year. In The States, one in four florists report consumers spending between $51 and $70, while an additional 36% spent between $71 and $100. In the UK, where 48% of adults show their appreciation with a beautiful bouquet, floral sales are the safest bet, however, more and more consumers, 65% to be exact, are thinking sustainably, with sales of dried flowers increasing year on year. We highly recommend Appear Here favourite, Phohm, which is located in one of our spaces in the heart of The Lanes in Brighton.

30% of Mother’s Day consumers planned to gift a spa treatment.

Then there are the consumers who plan to take their mums out for the day — 57% for brunch, dinner or other special outings on Mother’s Day, up from the previous year’s 49% — or treat her to some well-deserved wellness. Another growing trend, as statistics tell us a record 30% of Mother’s Day consumers planned to gift them a spa treatment. But one trend that’s gaining popularity, and one we can really get behind, is the gift of time. And one brand is really running with it: with most mothers admitting all they really want is to spend some quality time with their babies, or to in fact, have more time to themselves, greeting card retailer Moonpig teamed up with LEGO to create the ‘Time Tokens for Mum’ booklet.

However you plan to spend your time or money on your mother figure, or attract new consumers in time for the big day, there’s one thing we’re certain of: everyone deserves some love right now. Show them in whatever way you can.