There’s no doubt about it. We love our moms.
And consumers are showing their support through purchasing habits. In fact, Mother’s Day has become the third largest retail holiday, with the National Retail Federation reporting that consumers spent nearly $20 billion on their moms last year.
Eighty-seven percent of Americans celebrate Mother’s Day and, on average, spend $169 on gifts per recipient. While the vast majority of Mother’s Day purchases still happen at brick-and-mortar retail locations, there are still challenges reaching the gift buyer (and not the recipient) and galvanizing the 51 percent of showrooming consumers to make in-store purchases.
It’s no easy feat, but here are five ways marketers can make Mother’s Day offers more locally relevant and in the process engage the right consumers who end up making a purchase in-store.
1. Trust the tried-and-true nature of email by targeting existing customers with localized content.
We’ve said it often: Email is still a powerful tool for businesses and brands of any size. Retailers can encourage Mother’s Day shopping at their stores by combining the power of localization and personalization in customized email programming. With sale reminders and coupons redeemable in-store, rather than generic mass messages, retailers can effectively target shoppers based on demographics, geographic information and even past purchases. Those emails have even more impact when they include local price and item content that gift buyers know they can get at a nearby location.
Additionally, according to Experian, the most effective Mother’s Day mailings cut to the chase and include subject lines with the offer explicitly stated (i.e. “50 percent off jewelry for Mother’s Day at your neighborhood store”). Transaction rates on Mother’s Day emails with offers in the subject lines increased 32 percent, and revenue per email went up 15 percent.
2. In-store pick-up promises more sales, but your offers better look like the picture.
The better a product looks online, the higher the likelihood customers will want to purchase it. However, customers don’t want to be surprised by what they find when they arrive at the pick-up counter. It’s always important that online product descriptions are thorough and accurate and images are high-resolution, especially for retailers that offer in-store fulfillment.
According to Internet Retailer, brands like Target and Staples have found an added benefit of offering in-store pickup. It effectively encourages holiday shoppers, like those seeking Mother’s Day gifts, to visit their local stores. Once those shoppers arrive, the up-selling and cross-selling opportunities are much greater. In-store pickup rose 40 percent above average during the 2014 holiday season, as shoppers looked for ways to avoid crowds and the additional cost and hassle of timing gift shipping.
3. To move local inventory, get it on social media.
Social sharing programs give customers an additional layer of confidence about the quality of items they’re purchasing in-store, since those items have been recommended by their peers. This is especially important to gift buyers. In order to maximize brand consideration for additional Mother’s Day sales, retailers should generate localized social promotions.
Kohl’s has successfully used social media to promote its Mother’s Day Gift Shop. The company has asked social media followers to post about why they love their moms using the #KohlsLovesMoms in exchange for the chance to win $100 gift cards. The company has also offered in-store coupons to customers who sign up for email sale alerts. Kohl’s successfully linked Mother’s Day to their brand and helped create more earned reach through a simple, audience-driven campaign that drives shoppers in-store.
4. Mobile offers reach the consumers shopping for Mom.
Remember, Mother’s Day shoppers are sons, daughters and spouses. Mobile offers a great opportunity to connect to demographics not typically associated with a brand or retailer’s regular target audiences. By exploring the hyper-granular targeting capabilities, brands can reach Mother’s Day shoppers through games, weather apps, beacons, banner ads, mobile search and more. The key is to make sure they all have great creative.
Luxury brands have a lot to teach about this. One that’s taking advantage of mobile to drive local sales this Mother’s Day is Tiffany & Co. Last year, the classic jewelry brand ran two versions of a Mother’s Day ad — each optimized for screen size on smartphones and tablets — on New York Magazine’s blog, The Cut. The mobile ad included the tagline “A Tiffany Mother’s Day.” Users who clicked-through were taken to a Mother’s Day gift guide. The goal of the campaign was to spread awareness and boost in-store and online sales. Tiffany & Co.’s mobile website also included a prominent location icon, which helped visitors find their nearest store locations. This was an important mobile feature, given that high-value purchases like jewelry are often made in-store.
5. Create in-store deals shoppers can’t refuse.
The in-store experience still holds the most sway over whether or not people will buy merchandise. They want to see and touch the product, but they also want to be informed and engaged by it. They want to know how to use it. And when shopping for someone else, they want to know how it will make that special someone feel. In-store digital experiences can help consumers feel more confident and ready to make a Mother’s Day purchase.
According to Retail TouchPoints, Neiman Marcus has been able to boost in-store engagement during the holidays with the use of BLE technology. In 2014, the store began sending push notifications to iPhone users when they reached certain in-store zones, alerting them to special events and offers. Retailers can use this same technology to notify shoppers when they’re nearing merchandise that could be considered good Mother’s Day gifts. Likewise, they can trigger mobile video to demo the product or send coupons that make the offer too enticing to pass up.
Holidays like Mother’s Day provide an excellent opportunity to generate in-store transactions, as long as brands and retailers remember the spirit of the holiday — making it easy on mom and appreciating her. They can also apply the lessons learned for the rest of the year – building stronger ties to consumers and seeing lift in revenue regardless of the seasonal event.