On Sunday, we celebrate Mother’s Day in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany and the United States. With varying lockdown restrictions in place, and many still practicing social distancing, Mother’s Day 2020 is bound to be different.

This week on our resource center, Consumers, Commerce & COVID-19, we looked back at Mother’s Day in the U.K., where it was celebrated during the first week of the lockdown. This gave us some insight into how consumer shopping behavior around the holiday has shifted.

  • While stores around the U.K. closed due to lockdown, Mother’s Day orders across our network increased 35% YoY, demonstrating the shift to online shopping.
  • As People devised new ways to honor Mum that didn’t include going out for brunch, sales in the Cards & Stationery and Food & Drink vertical surged.
  • Consumers turned to Social Media (+125% YoY) and to Loyalty and Rewards publishers (+105% YoY) to make Mother’s Day purchases.

In a typical year, shoppers wait until the week of Mother’s Day to purchase gifts. This is largely because traditionally purchased Mother’s Day items (flowers, chocolates etc.) have a short shelf-life. This year, with many stores closed, we expect this will shift, as consumers shop earlier to account for shipping. This is supported by our learnings from the holiday in the U.K., and also by indicators that Mother’s Day-related categories, like jewelry, started seeing increases in early April, according to data from our U.S. consumer panel.

At a time when consumers behavior is notably shifting, advertisers and publishers need to account for altered buying patterns. Mother’s Day is a period when sons, daughters, dads and partners are shopping for Mum. Because of this, advertisers should consider revising targeting criteria and adjusting bid strategies to include audiences outside of typical target demographics. This enables advertisers to engage consumers that are shopping for gifts and represent significant revenue opportunities during the Mother’s Day period.

In addition to Mother’s Day, we continue to examine our data across networks to keep abreast of changing consumer trends. This week clicks and orders have increased in France and the U.K., while down in the U.S., Brazil, Canada and Germany. In APAC, orders are increasing at the same time clicks are trending down, indicating that perhaps shoppers are doing less “window shopping” and going straight to purchase. As the e-commerce environment continues to prove unpredictable, and many still working with scaled-back marketing budgets, we turned to our experts for advice.

Consider One-to-One Partnerships
While running a full-scale affiliate program isn’t realistic for all advertisers right now, consider exploring one-to-one campaigns with publishers that currently have strong engagement from their audiences. It’s important to consider ways to begin reaching consumers again, as countries around the world are starting to test out eased restrictions and economic stimulus initiatives. Strategically leveraging data to inspire targeted campaigns and partnerships is a good place to start and will let you reach consumers where they’re spending time.

Proactively Share Audience Data
In turn, publishers can consider proactively reaching out to valuable advertising partners to communicate audience insights, and suggest strategic opportunities to reach and engage them. In doing so, you create opportunities to negotiate custom campaign agreements and commission rates, with a focus on the content that is most valuable to your audience right now.

Rakuten Advertising will continue to keep you updated with strategies and insights from our network. For more strategic insight, specific to your company, please reach out to your Rakuten Advertising representative. For more insights and data related to COVID-19, visit https://rakutenadvertising.com/covid19/.