Father’s Day is an occasion that is widely celebrated across the world. In Australia and New Zealand, sons and daughters traditionally celebrate by taking their dads out for a beach-side BBQ, brunch at a café or simply showering them with love in the form of a Bunnings’ gift card.

This year, Father’s Day will look a little different. While BBQ and brunch may be out of the picture for some, this special occasion will still be celebrated by many. For brands looking to optimise their Father’s Day marketing strategy, they need to first understand consumer behaviours and shopping intent during this altered state of the world.

As 2020 proves to be no ordinary year, it’s more important than ever to analyse and understand previous years’ data in combination with recently conducted consumer research. Together, these insights will help brands and affiliate publishers better understand customer shopping habits and provide retailers with the data they need to best reach and engage consumers.

Reach eager online consumers and last-minute in-store shoppers

Rakuten Advertising’s Australia and New Zealand affiliate network data shows steady growth across all metrics from 2018 to 2019. The number of orders in the week leading up to Father’s Day has doubled across Australia and New Zealand, increasing at a staggering 106% year-on-year (YoY), while sales have risen by 90% YoY. Consumers are becoming more engaged with online content, as we see clicks and conversion trending upwards by 38% and 9% YoY respectively.

While many consumers will be eager to get back in-store, online will remain to key to the way people shop. According to our latest research The Road to Recovery: 2020 Shopping Peaks Re-Imagined, a majority of Aussies (65%) and Kiwis (54%) will primarily shop online this holiday season. 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 costs and product availability with their customers and shoppers. A third of Aussies (34%) and Kiwis (30%) noted that complimentary shipping offers will be a key motivation that drives them to purchase online. 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.

Although a majority of consumers may choose to shop earlier this year, we can anticipate that there will be many people who leave their shopping to the last minute. Last year’s data reveals that the Wednesday and Thursday prior to Father’s Day were the most popular days for shopping. To engage these customers, brands have an opportunity to reignite their online-to-offline (O2O) strategies in regions where physical retailers remain open. Brands also can incorporate online search efforts to offline strategies such as location extensions, to drive last-minute shoppers in-store.

Coupons and discounts are the keys to success

Our affiliate network data saw an increase in sales driven by coupons and voucher sites in the week leading up to Father’s Day. Last year, 54% of all Father’s Day sales was driven by a combination of coupons and voucher sites and loyalty and cashback publishers. This insight further solidifies the fact that these publisher models are successful for brands during this period.

Other publisher categories such as deals, content and shopping sites also contributed to the overall publisher mix that were utilised during Father’s Day in previous years. Aussies and Kiwis remain savvy during and after lockdown, as our consumer research shows discount offers and promotions will influence a quarter of the population to make an online purchase. The uplift in sales driven by differing models demonstrates the need for brands to embrace a diverse publisher mix, and leverage promotions across channels to drive success.

Taking care of the dad bod

This year, the line begins to blur between athleticwear and leisurewear, making “athleisurewear” an acceptable part of the English lexicon. Our affiliate network data shows apparel and accessories remain the top performing category in 2018 and 2019, with health and fitness vertical experiencing a 25-fold increase YoY. This indicates that consumers are purchasing in these categories during this time of year, with athleisurewear combining the best of both verticals.

Shopping during a global pandemic

According to our consumer research, 28% of Aussies and 24% of Kiwis are also more likely to increase spend when purchasing for their immediate families this holiday season. 73% of Australians do not plan to decrease spend towards the end of the year even if the country returns to partial lockdown.

Father’s Day in Australia and New Zealand has arrived at an abnormal time this year. Regardless of the population being in different stages of lockdown across both countries, one thing is for certain – people will still shop for their dads. It’s never too late for brands to help consumers find the perfect Father’s Day gift.

If you would like to learn more about how Rakuten Advertising can help you reach last-minute Father’s Day shoppers, contact us today.