Did you know that the rose is the official flower of Father’s Day? Traditionally, sons and daughters used to wear a red rose in admiration of their father, or a white rose to remember their father who had passed. 

Today, Father’s Day traditions around the world look a little different. The holiday has grown to include brunch outings, picnics, BBQ’s and gifts including tools, books, sporting equipment and experiences. 

Due to the altered state of the world, Father’s Day 2020 will see the holiday experience more change than it has in recent years. For brands wanting to optimise their Father’s Day marketing strategy, they need first to understand consumer behaviour and shopping intent. 

Analysing last year’s data to better understand shopping habits provides brands and their affiliate publishers with the data they need to best reach and engage consumers. However, 2020 is no ordinary year. This year Father’s Day comes at a time when the most of Asia is coming out of lockdown. Though shops and restaurants are slowly reopening, the way people traditionally celebrate will be different. 

Online-first approach 

Retail in Malaysia and Singapore is expected to reopen a week leading into Father’s Day. While many consumers will be eager to get back in-store, online will remain to key to the way people shop. With concerns around shipping times and product availability, it is safe to assume that consumers will also shop earlier than usual to ensure their gifts arrive in time. 

For brands, it’s important they continue to communicate shipping times and product availability with their customers and shoppers. Where possible offering complimentary or discounted express shipping and highlighting these promotions within PPC and social ads will work to engage consumers by providing additional value to their online experience. 

Reignite online-to-offline (O2O) strategies

As retail reopens, brands can incorporate online search efforts to offline strategies such as location extensions, to drive last-minute shoppers in-store

Last year’s data reveals that the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday prior to Father’s Day were the most popular days for shopping. This year we can anticipate that there will be many people who leave still their shopping to the last minute. To engage these consumers, brands have an opportunity to reignite their online-to-offline (O2O) strategies. 

Leverage a diverse publisher mix 

The Rakuten Advertising APAC affiliate network has also seen an increase in orders driven by loyalty and cash back publishers as consumers remain savvy during lockdown. 58% of all Father’s Day sales in 2019 was driven by loyalty and cash back publishers, further solidifying the publisher model as a successful one for brands during this period.  

Other forms of publishers such as sub-networks, coupons and voucher and content also contributed to the overall publisher mix that were utilised during this time. The uptick in sales driven by differing verticals and platforms demonstrates the need for brands to embrace a diverse publisher mix, and leverage promotions across channels to drive success. 

Country Specific Performance – Father’s Day 2019

🇨🇳 China: Rakuten Advertising’s data from Father’s Day 2019 shows that affiliate orders in China decreased by 9% year-on-year (YoY) in the week leading up to Father’s Day. On the other hand, clicks increased by 11%, and on average, Chinese consumers spent ¥2,160 (AU$411) when shopping for Dad, growing from 2018 by 17%. The data also reveals that purchases made on the Saturday before Father’s Day decreased by 14% YoY, while purchases made on Thursday, the least popular day to shop in 2018, rose by 78%. Though the Monday preceding Father’s Day 2019 was not the strongest performing day for purchases, it did experience the greatest number of clicks with a growth of 45% YoY.  

🇭🇰 Hong Kong: In Hong Kong, Father’s Day 2019 took place in the wake of the anti-extradition bill protests. Our data shows that affiliate orders in Hong Kong increased by 12% YoY, indicating that the political turmoil did not deter consumers from purchasing in the week leading up to Father’s Day. However, the number of clicks and the average order value (AOV) has decreased by 28% and 10% YoY respectively. Despite this downturn, sales remained steady with a slight growth of 2% from 2018Purchases made on the Saturday before Father’s Day decreased by 6% YoY, while sales on Wednesday, the least popular day to shop in 2018, increased by 114%. The number of orders on Monday and Tuesday preceding Father’s Day 2019 experienced the largest growth, increasing by 55% and 83% respectively. 

🇲🇾 Malaysia: Our data reveals that Malaysian consumers were busy shopping for their Dads last year. Affiliate orders in Malaysia increased by 19% YoY in the week leading up to Father’s Day 2019, and the number of clicks also increased at a staggering 81% YoY. On average, Malaysian consumers spent RM380 (AU$127) on purchases for their Dads, 9% lower than 2018. On the Saturday before Father’s Day 2019, sales increased by 25% YoY. However, unlike China and Hong Kong, Friday proved to be the most popular day for Malaysian consumers as data reveals that purchased made on Friday increased by 155% YoY.  

🇸🇬 Singapore: In Singapore, 2019 sales decreased by 37% YoY and the number of orders decreased by 55% YoY in the week leading up to Father’s Day. However data reveals that on average, Singaporeans spent SG$119 (AU$122) on their dads which is an increase of 40% YoY. Despite the decline in sales, like Malaysia, Friday proved to be the strongest performing day before Father’s Day 2019, indicating that shoppers are likely to make last minute purchases for their Dads just before the holiday. Interestingly, the number of orders on the Tuesday preceding Father’s Day has increased by 42% and 55% in 2018 and 2019 respectively when compared to the Saturday before Father’s Day. This shows that there is still appetite for shoppers to purchase after the holiday. 

Father’s Day 2020 arrives at a strange time. Life in Asia is showing signs of slowly returning to normal, and there are many unknowns about what our post-lockdown norm will be. One thing is for certain, regardless of lockdown people will shop for their Dads. There is still ample opportunity for brands to help consumers find the perfect gift.