Mother’s Day Ecommerce Marketing

Published: Jan 29, 2018

What you’ll get from this guide

Is your ecommerce marketing ready for Mother’s Day? As one of the biggest retail days of the year, it leaves Valentine’s Day and Father’s Day in the dust in terms of consumer spending.

What’s more, it’s an opportunity that’s growing: Americans spent $23.6B for Mother’s Day 2018, compared to $11.5B in 2005.

Of course, this means that it’s an increasingly important day for e-commerce marketers: in 2015, 29% of Mother’s Day shopping was done online in the US, and online shoppers spend 38% more on this holiday than offline shoppers.

So no matter what date Mother’s Day falls on where you are (and it varies!), read this guide to make sure that you’re ready for a sure-fire e-commerce opportunity. We’ll cover:

The Ecommerce Marketing Timeline

Influence marketing platform The Shelf has published a breakdown of how far ahead of Mother’s Day consumers shop:

ecommerce marketing: Mother's Day Marketing Plan

A little like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day is all about frantic shopping activity in a short period of time.

Nearly half of those who buy presents for their moms are looking for gifts on the week of Mother’s Day and 75% of all shoppers will make their Mother’s Day purchases within two weeks of the day.

For marketers planning campaigns, this gives a solid timeline to plan for spikes in traffic and orders, and also when to start serving customers Mother’s Day promotional material. Here’s a sample timeline for a Mother’s Day ecommerce marketing campaign:

Top tip: If you cover multiple regions, don’t forget that different countries celebrate on different dates, meaning you need to localize your activity timelines for different geographies.

Creating the Digital Aisle

E-commerce brands can succeed where brick-and-mortar stores fall short. 27% of shoppers would prefer a dedicated aisle for Mother’s Day – when you run an e-commerce store, you can create a digital one.

More like Valentine’s than Christmas, while there’s a lot of pressure on the consumer to buy one gift (and make it the right one), as a retailer you have the advantage of a smaller, simpler range to put together.

So help your shopper out by making their choices easier:

Influencing the Journey

Starting at the very top of the funnel, one tactic that can be deployed for specific ecommerce marketing campaigns such as Mother’s Day is influencer marketing – that is, teaming up with a well-known blogger, Instagrammer or YouTuber for example to create a campaign that will reach their audience.

For example, jewellery brand Pandora used influencer marketing in conjunction with a Snapchat campaign. The brand created a custom filter and encouraged fans to take selfies with mom for the chance to win a £500 voucher, enlisting support from high-end influencers including mom bloggers and fashion bloggers to boost interaction. The campaign resulted in over 56m views, over 6m swipes and 1,000,000+ users of Pandora’s filter. As the first UK brand to use Snapchat’s sponsored geofilter, the campaign also generated press coverage.

Top tips for influencer marketing:

Smart Incentivizing

There are many Mother’s Day shoppers out there, but there are also many, many competitors for their affections.

Consumers are wise to this and know that they have enough choice to be price-conscious in their shopping – hence why 81% of people are likely to look for a discount or a voucher on Mother’s Day.

The challenge for you will be to work out the right incentives that make an impact on your conversions while protecting your margins. Using onsite behavioral analytics can help you do this – for example, seeing the element of your checkout page that a shopper dwells on before abandoning can help you see where the problem might be.

Don’t forget that – as always – free delivery is the most powerful incentive for Mother’s Day shoppers. If your site offers it, make the most of it.

Getting Mobile-Ready

According to BingAds in 2016, nearly 60% of Mother’s Day-related searches took place on mobile in 2016. In the UK in 2017, 36% of Mother’s Day purchases took place over multiple devices.

With this number likely to increase, it makes sense for e-commerce retailers to ensure that their Mother’s Day landing pages – along with checkout – are not just mobile-ready but mobile best.

This means putting the mobile experience at the centre of your e-commerce strategy by revisiting your customer journey and ensuring that there’s seamless movement between social, mobile and desktop search that shoppers will find intuitive.

Extending Your Reach

Given the tendency for consumers to shop last-minute for Mother’s Day gifts, there’s a good chance that many forget until close to the day, so do the work for your customers by reminding them that the approaching celebration is a great way to ease the buying process.

However, it’s important to note that for many Mother’s Day gifts, the shopper might be new to your brand: they are, after all, buying for someone else. Likewise, a brand whose audience has traditional ‘mom’ appeal might not find much joy in targeting their current customers, who won’t be buying themselves Mother’s Day gifts. As a result, you’ll need to question whether your existing email base is the right audience for this campaign.

Your efforts over Mother’s Day may help acquire new customers who are only buying for someone else, rather than themselves – so segment these for future Mother’s Day or Christmas Day email marketing drives.

Preparing for Last-Minute Shoppers

As we’ve already mentioned, the majority of people leave Mother’s Day shopping until the last minute. This presents challenges for businesses and marketers to gain maximum sales throughout the period but also to fulfil them in time for a hard deadline.

Mother's Day Marketing  statistics Moonpig

Moonpig, the personalized greeting card company, made a promise via a national TV advert that their Mother’s Day cards would be delivered on time, but were unable to fulfil it. And they paid the price on social media, with mentions of their brand exploding on Mother’s Day and the Monday after.

ecommerce marketing: Mother's Day statistics Moonpig

The moral here is to ensure that you’re prepared and able to deliver on a substantial increase in traffic and orders, and also that you clearly communicate to your customers when the cut-off point for orders is. You can use countdown clocks to tick down to your order deadline to make sure that you don’t end up in Moonpig’s situation.

But you can also let panic work to your advantage: leverage last-minute shopping by offering customizable, Mother’s Day-specific digital gift cards to those who have arrived via Mother’s Day-related channels.

Use Analytics to Increase Order Value

As with any e-commerce purchase, stretching the value of each order is a key way to increase revenue. By segmenting audiences and using onsite analytics, you can serve dynamic offers to customers to increase order value.

For example, The Trade Desk modelled different customer profiles and likely Mother’s Day gift purchases based on location in the US:

Ecommerce marketing: shopping trends worldwide

Meanwhile in the UK, flower retailer Bloom & Wild released its 2017 Mother’s Day data to reveal which UK locations spent the most on their Mother’s Day flower orders, finding that Alton residents averaged £43 per order of flowers, while Knutsford’s orders averaged just £18.

Using knowledge like this, marketers can tailor offers so that consumers find the items they are most likely to buy, as well as target paid advertising to demographics where there’s likely to be the biggest return.

Research has also found that many will be buying for more than just their own mother – 37% of Mother’s Day spending is for grandmothers, step-mothers, friends, sisters, godmothers, aunts and daughters. This creates an opportunity for marketers to increase the value of orders by nudging customers towards buying for others beyond their own mom. This can be done by:

Avoiding a Faux Pas

For Mother’s Day 2015, Spotify launched a social campaign asking people to share how they’d describe Spotify to their moms:

Spotify Mother's Day campaign

However, the patronising tone received backlash from users who called the campaign ageist and sexist:

Spotify Mother's Day campaign backlash
Spotify Mother's Day campaign backlash

It’s clear that Spotify saw Mother’s Day as an opportunity to increase users among a particular demographic – but customers saw through them.

The lesson here? Mother’s Day is too often associated with bouquets of flowers and chocolates – it can be a little unimaginative and at worst, patronising. Remembering that not all moms are the same – and that moms can be millennials too – is key to making sure your ecommerce marketing passes the test.


Launching an ecommerce marketing programme for Mother’s Day can be daunting but also highly rewarding, and a chance to acquire new customers.

As one of the major dates in the e-commerce calendar, marketers who want to get the most out of Mother’s Day spending need to: