Mother’s Day is a significant event in the UK retail calendar. Mintel research shows that it remains the most purchased for event in the Spring/Summer season, with a greater number of consumers spending money on Mother’s Day than on the other events like Easter, Valentine’s Day and Father’s Day. Whilst the average spending remained relatively flat in 2016, there are opportunities for retailers to encourage greater spending through events, premium ranges, gift recommendations and personalised products.

Say it with flowers

In 2016, consumers were most likely to have spent their money on gift products like cards, perfume or clothing, but a significant portion also spent money on more experiential gifts, such as special food to have at home, or a trip away. People are increasingly prioritising leisure as opposed to physical products when spending their disposable income. As a result, a number of retailers are using experiences to attract shoppers.

In terms of products, flowers are now the most popular gift option – stealing the top spot from greetings cards in 2016 – which reflects a willingness amongst people to buy presents that will resonate with the receiver. The rising number of consumers purchasing flowers for seasonal occasions is mirrored by in-store space allocation and marketing, with several key retailers placing an emphasis on the category this Mother’s Day.

Quality and convenience resonate with consumers

Supermarkets are the most popular retailers to buy seasonal gifts from in the Spring/Summer months. The tendency for shoppers to head to the grocers for gifts is likely to be driven by both convenience and price. The ability for consumers to pick up items whilst already in-store will benefit supermarkets, as will their typically longer opening hours. However, product quality is the driving factor for most people, giving retailers opportunity to encourage people to upscale with premium ranges.

Mintel research reveals high levels of last-minute shopping for Mother’s Day, which means retailers need to ensure they have appropriate products available to purchase right up to those final hours. The challenge goes beyond that for e-commerces: as people become increasingly accustomed to fast order from online retailers, their tendency to leave gift purchasing until the last minute is likely to rise. As such, retailers who can offer fast delivery in the final days in the build-up to such events will be the most likely to capitalise.

Many consumer also want retailers to provide gift ideas for the major seasonal events in the Spring/Summer calendar. This correlates with Mintel Trend ‘Guiding Choice’, which explores how consumers are faced with too much choice and too little time, and are, therefore, looking for shortcuts to aid their decision making. Online channels are increasingly being used to guide consumers through the gift shopping process.

Samantha Dover joined Mintel in 2016, analysing and writing reports on the retail sector. Prior to joining Mintel, Samantha worked as a Fashion Analyst for EDITED, a retail technology company specialising in data software. Here she worked on the company’s retail data analytics, trend forecasting and runway coverage. She has a BA (Hons) in Fashion Marketing from Northumbria University.

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