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Brick-and-Mortars Can Beat Out E-commerce This Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day spending will reach an all-time high of $21.2 billion, and via in-store and digital marketing tactics, brick-and-mortars can win.

E-commerce purchases are taking a slide during this Mother’s Day shopping period, as more consumers appear to turn to omnichannel-focused brick-and-mortar retailers to make their holiday purchases, research from the National Retail Federation and others suggest.

On average, consumers will spend $172.63 on their moms this year, up nearly $10 from $162.94 in 2014. The bump in dollars is partly owed to the fact that people are feeling more economically secure than they were in the past, says a spokesperson for NRF. The study showed that  34.2 percent of Mother’s Day shoppers are planning to purchase jewelry, spending a survey high of $4.3 billion for the special day, up from 31.7 percent and $3.6 billion last year.

The NRF 2015 Mother’s Day Spending Survey, conducted by market researcher Prosper & Insight Analytics predicts that consumers will spend $21.2 billion, an all-time high, this Mother’s Day period, with fewer shopping online (25 percent versus 29 percent last year).

Placed: Finding the shopping affinities between candy stores and specific retailers
Placed: Finding the shopping affinities between candy stores and specific retailers

Flowers, Candy, And Geo-targeting

 In-store analytics provider Placed has gathered some stats that show foot traffic at retailers that have a major stake in Mother’s Day business:

  • Placed measured a 12.5 percent rise in visits to florists from April 2014 to May 2014
  • Placed measured an 11.2 percent increase in visits to candy stores from April 2014 to May 2014

“The month over month gains for florists and candy stores highlights that the old standbys of candy and flowers are still prevalent when expressing our thanks to moms,” said Placed CEO/founder David Shim. The percentage change in visitors that those metrics above reflect the traditional gift-giving associated with Mother’s Day.

But what is interesting is what those underlying “affinities” can translate to when it comes to wider marketing that can be used after the holiday to better understand and target consumers. In other words, Mother’s Day shoppers have different behaviors than consumers throughout the year.  What a holiday like this provides is a lens with which to get a clearer view of those purchase habits: i.e., “affinities.”

These insights can shine a light on the correlations in shopping behavior both during and beyond the holiday, Shim said. For instance, candy store visitations might demonstrate an overlap with people who are most likely to go to a Gap, while the group of people who shop at florists for Mother’s Day are more attracted to Old Navy, highlighting opportunities to leverage geo-targeting and geo-fencing to drive consumers in-store.

Placed's David Shim
Placed’s David Shim

Happy (Millennial) Mother’s Day

To understand the impact of location on Mother’s Day advertising, this year more than others, mobile will make the difference in online-to-offline shopping. According to the NRF’s  study, 46 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds are will use smartphones and tablets to research products and compare prices for gifts.

Millennial moms will also be turning to their mobile devices, location-based marketplace xAd suggests. In a recent blog post, the company found that 63 percent of millennial moms said they used their smartphone more after becoming pregnant or becoming a mom to help them discover new products at stores they were unfamiliar with in their pre-mom days.

To reach many of these new parents, location-targeted Mother’s Day campaigns are increasingly considered to be an effective marketing tool to match retailers’ messages with these on-the-go — yet always connected — mothers

In terms of the specific kinds of products that will factor into the omnichannel Mother’s Day promotions, holiday standards like gift cards, flowers, and women’s apparel will be in large demand. Also, restaurants serving brunch Mother’s Day weekend will be competing with interactive enticements from email discounts to online reservations.

As for brands launching Mother’s Day campaigns that target the omnichannel shopper, Whirlpool launched #ItsAllCare, a social media campaign that asked mobile users to upload acts of care using the #ItsAllCare hashtag. Coca-Cola teamed up with CVS and Morris Media Network’s regional Parent magazine group for the Fit Family Challenge, a campaign that motivates Southern moms to get their families healthy by tracking their fitness on a mobile-optimized site in exchange for points that lead to prizes.

As xAd’s past research around the shopping habits by — and for — millennial moms showed, ads that offer a literal sense of direction appear to help both shoppers and local retailers. Moms who were searching for how to get to a local business were 67 percent more likely to access map and navigation properties for directions. As xAd noted, “If your mobile strategy doesn’t include directions or information about a business location, it’s time to reconsider.”

PlaceIQ's Nadya Kohl
PlaceIQ’s Nadya Kohl

Digital-To-Physical Influence

Using location-based advertising in an omnichannel context provides” a wealth of benefits to brands tasked with marketing Mother’s Day,” said Nadya Kohl, SVP, business development for geo-data specialist PlaceIQ. Specifically, brands can use location to better understand consumers’ cross-shopping habits and apply those insights in a way that has all media formats complementing each other. The addition of location data and targeting provide an important layer that connects other parts of a brand’s marketing mix, especially during busy holiday periods like Mother’s Day.

“Location data provides a bridge between the physical and digital world — one that can uncover valuable insights into the behavior of certain consumer segments,” Kohl said.

Since “dads” are a natural customer target for Mother’s Day shopping, Kohl pointed out that it be obviously beneficial to aim omnichannel marketing at  recent or expectant millennial fathers just as marketers are doing with their wives. “In a marketplace where women make 90 percent of all household purchases, the ability to tap into the ‘Dad’ consumer segment and deliver messages that align with their wives’ favorite retailers is another powerful example,” she said.

As for the role location itself plays, holiday shopping is inherently a local affair. Employing geo-data can “align each spoke on the marketing wheel to move the campaign forward and measure success,” Kohl said. The reason is in location data’s versatility across all kinds of advertising models and methods.

Location And Omnichannel In Action

To demonstrate her point, Kohl suggested imagining a retailer that uses a Mother’s Day-themed TV spot, coupled with a mobile ad exposure to reach a consumer group made up of “fathers” in order to boost in-store visitation. It all comes down to proving the ROI on online-to-offline marketing. A time like this Mother’s Day — and then Father’s Day in June — will allow brands and retailers to experiment and explore the myriad ways different media channels interact to drive local store traffic and sales. It’s simply a matter of synthesizing all the available consumer analytics in the service of making the holiday sale.

“In this instance, location data would be able to be layered with census data and home ownership data to help identify the consumer group,” Kohl said. “It would then be used to deliver the ad across TV and mobile — as well as accurately measure the resulting in-store visitation lift.”