Digital Mother’s Day boosts online revenues for retailers

As Mother’s Day moved online while the UK’s national lockdown continued, eCommerce revenues saw a boost.

With Covid-19 restrictions preventing the family gatherings typically seen on Mothering Sunday, and hospitality venues and non-essential retail stores still closed, Brits turned to eCommerce to treat Mums.

Online revenues bloom on Mother’s Day

In the first two weeks of March, data from Wunderkind, formerly BounceX’s Marketing Pulse showed web sales rising +17% since the start of the month.  Wunderkind’s data showed that email channel revenues jumped +12.3% week-on-week in the first week of March, as shoppers looked to get ahead on gift buying. And, with some online florists reportedly running out of delivery spots, supermarket Waitrose partnered with Deliveroo to offer a 30 minute express flower delivery service to keep up with demand.

Ecommerce specialist Visualsoft‘s data also reported an up-tick in order volumes over that same period, which increased +25% in the first two weeks of March.  It’s CEO, Dean Benson, attributed the rise in demand to the nation ‘adapting’ to lockdown life.  “With the continued closure of stores, and shoppers looking for the convenience of searching and shopping for gifts online, sales have soared,” he said, with those offering last-minute delivery options and personalised products best poised to benefit.

Pointing ahead to pent-up demand

Some consumers also used the day to look ahead and plan for celebrations when restrictions ease, with spend on experiences—from spa days to afternoon teas—to enjoy later in the year.

Wulfric Light-Wilkinson, GM EMEA, Wunderkind

Wulfric Light-Wilkinson, GM EMEA at Wunderkind, commented: “We’re beginning to see what pent up demand might look like, with online spend remaining buoyed as lockdown fatigue looms large and the promise of eased restrictions comes ever closer.  Consumers are already investing emotionally in purchases – whether it be gifting or buying ahead experiences that can be enjoyed together once lockdown is lifted.  This points to a great deal of opportunity as we look ahead for retailers and brands to engage new customers whilst improving loyalty amongst existing shoppers.”

Brands pivot marketing strategies to support customers

While Mothering Sunday provided a welcome boost to online retail revenues, this year saw many more brands and retailers offering to opt out customers from Mother’s Day communications if they find the day difficult.

Very’s CMO, Carly O’Brien, said the events of the last year had made it “even more important that we’re sensitive to customers’ feelings” while Waitrose’s spokesperson acknowledged that “while Mother’s Day is a celebratory time for many, it can be painful for others, particularly when so many have lost loved ones during the pandemic.”

“Brands have always sought to emotionally connect with their customers,” Light-Wilkinson added.  “But when it comes to consumer engagement sometimes what you don’t say can be just as important as what, and when, you do.  This straightforward yet effective piece of segmentation allowed retailers to sympathetically support customers and personalise communications according to their unique circumstances or views around Mother’s Day.”

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