It was anticipated that in 2019 shoppers in the UK would spend £1.6 billion on their Mum’s during the Mother’s Day shopping period. Last year saw Mother’s Day moved from early March to the end of the month, a move that saw brands begin promoting the holiday later than usual and many questioned whether this would impact sales or not.

Data from Rakuten Advertising’s UK affiliate network show sales increased 89% Year-on-Year from Mother’s Day 2018. Furthermore, the network data revealed sales for the three days leading to Mother’s Day 2019 increased 60% compared to the previous year.

In 2020, the date of Mother’s Day has once again changed, with the event falling on Sunday the 22nd of March. For brands wanting to make the most out of Mother’s Day, they must understand how and when consumers are shopping and optimise their affiliate and search campaigns accordingly to amplify performance.

When considering how consumers are shopping, leveraging previous performance data is key. Last year, consumers shopping via the affiliate channel did so predominately using loyalty, rewards and cashback publishers. This was followed closely by coupon and voucher sites and then subnetworks.

The strong performance of both affiliate publishers in the loyalty, rewards and cashback category and coupon and vouchers, indicates that although shopping for a gift, consumers are enticed to purchase if they are going to receive rewards or discount. Brands looking to engage existing customers during this crucial period, and those wanting to reach new-to-file shoppers should consider optimisation campaigns with these publishers who drive conversion to fully leverage the shopping holiday.

And while every brand will have their “ideal” customer when creating their strategy, it’s important to remember that over Mother’s Day, the ideal customer changes.

During big holidays were gifting is involved, brands need to account for a shift in their typical customer demographics and target paid search audiences. Mother’s Day is one of those holidays in which buyer behaviour tends to change. It is no longer a female buying herself a new signature scent or a bouquet of flowers for home, but rather someone’s partner or children picking out a thoughtful present for that special day. Because of this, make sure you revise your age, gender, and parental status bid adjustments as to not exclude users that could represent significant revenue opportunities, even if only for a short period.

In addition to understanding how consumers engage with brands, having insight into when people are shopping and adjusting strategies accordingly will drive increased performance. In 2019 affiliate clicks increased on average 17% from 2018 in the seven days leading into Mother’s Day. The strongest performing days for clicks were four and five days before Mother’s Day, growing 28% and 30% YoY respectively.

Similarly, average-order-value (AOV) increased on average 19% in the week before Mother’s Day 2019, with the highest increase of 39% occurring on Mother’s Day.

It’s not surprising that shoppers will wait until the week of Mother’s Day to purchase gifts. Flowers and chocolates are among the most common items to buy for Mother’s Day and have shorter durability than other popular products such as apparel and accessories.

Last-minute shoppers tend to be more impulse-driven, mostly because they lack the time required to conduct research. From a paid-search perspective, brands can use this to their benefit by offering free, fast shipping or other compelling offers 3 – 5 days before Mother’s Day. By highlighting this limited time offer within PPC ads and reminding consumers that the deadline is only a few days, if not hours away, a sense of urgency to convert is created.

For brands wanting to truly capitalise on last-minute shopping behaviours, online and in-store strategies are essential. Tie in your online search efforts to offline actions by enabling Location extensions and focusing on Local campaigns the two weeks leading up to Mother’s Day. Data for Rakuten Advertising search clients shows store traffic tends to spike 6 days and again just 1 day before Mother’s Day. Due to this trend, it’s recommended brands keep their online Mother’s Day efforts up and running until the very end, especially the ones that stimulate store traffic.

And don’t forget, buying gifts for others is not always the easiest task. Make it a pleasant, personal experience for shoppers to decide on a gift by creating a curated selection of products. Promote this via publisher partners and dedicated landing page that will result in lifts to onsite CVR for brands and, more importantly, it will (hopefully) help dad find a special present that is sure to delight?

Find out how Rakuten Advertising can help your brand this Mother’s Day.