Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It’s a High-Tech Mother’s Day

Electronic gifts for Mom are the gift of choice this year, as more than nine of 10 consumers (91%) plan to celebrate Mother’s Day. Total spending is estimated to reach $15.7 billion, according to the annual Brand Keys Mother’s Day survey.

Celebrants intend to spend an average of $148.00 this year, up nearly five percent over last year. Men, following a long-time pattern, intend to spend more than women, reporting an anticipated average “spend” of $176. Women reported an anticipated spend of $120.

“Gifts for Mom are going high-tech this year,” noted Robert Passikoff, Brand Keys ( founder and president. “Along with the traditional 3Cs – cards (greeting and gift), candy, and clothing – consumers have turned their focus to electronics this year. Consumers are still shopping smarter and looking for bargains, but this year high-tech products are the gift of choice with shoppers indicating that they are going to buy Mom electronic book readers (25%), tablets (19%), smartphones (15%), computers (9%), and cameras (6%). Those are the gifts at the top of consumers’ shopping lists.”
MethodologyBrand Keys, Inc., the New York City-based brand and customer loyalty research consultancy, as part of its bi-annual Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, polled 5,000 men and women, ages 18-60, and asked if and how they were planning to celebrate Mother’s Day. Here’s what they found (percentages in parentheses indicate changes from last year).
What They’re Buying
Cards 97% (unchanged)
Flowers 70% (+1%)
Brunch/Lunch/Dinner 58% (+1%)
Gift Cards 58% (+2%)
Clothing 36% (+4%)
Jewelry 25% (unchanged)
Electronics 20% (+10%)
Spa Services 17% (+2%)
Books 15% (-7%)
Candy 5% (unchanged)

“The largest increases in gift categories were Electronics (+10%) and Clothing (+4%), both areas in which consumers had cut back in recent years,” noted Passikoff. “Generally all other areas showed little or no change from last year.”

Except books. “That’s the only category that showed a decrease from last year, and based on buying intentions, traditional books are being replaced with electronic readers,” noted Passikoff. As to shopping venues, Discount, Specialty and On-line stores are all up 5%. Department Stores and Catalogs remain unchanged from last year.
Where Are They Shopping?
Discount Stores 43% (+5%)
Department Stores 35% (unchanged)
Specialty Stores 50% (+5%)
On-line Stores 30% (+5%)
Catalog 20% (unchanged)

Whatever they buy and wherever they buy it, folks still intend to “connect” with Mom. In-person visits are down slightly, “probably due to the cost of gasoline forcing people to drive less,” noted Passikoff, “but phone calls to all those new smartphones seem likely to take up the slack.”

Phone 55% (+5%)
Personal Visits 30% (-5%)
Cards 13% (unchanged
On-line 5% (unchanged)

While the second-biggest consumer-spending holiday behind Christmas, Chanukah, and Kwanza, Mother’s Day involves a broader spectrum of relationships, embracing step-moms, female relatives and friends. Changing family dynamics, including divorced and single parent households, and the fact that this holiday crosses all ethnic, cultural, and religious boundaries, makes it a real opportunity for retailers.

“Mother’s Day has become a universal holiday. People are feeling better about the economy and about the future,” said Passikoff. “And while there are still times where consumers watch their wallets, this year Mother’s Day isn’t one of them.