Total US spending related to Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 13, 2012) should reach almost $18.6 billion this year, according to an April 2012 survey from the National Retail Federation (NRF) and BIGinsight. This figure is up 13.8% from $13.1 billion in 2011, and is driven by a more than 8% rise in average per-person spend, from $140.73 to $152.52. Overall, three-quarters of the respondents plan to spend either the same (57.8%) or more (17.1%) on Mother’s Day this year. The story is a little different among online shopping consumers: according to April 2012 PriceGrabber survey results, half of these consumers plan to spend the same amount this year, while those planning to spend less slightly outnumber those planning to spend more (12% vs. 9%). Indeed, 62% of those respondents said they will spend less than $100 on Mother’s Day this year, although that is unchanged from last year (63%).
Men to Vastly Outspend Women
Not too surprisingly, men will be spending more than women on Mother’s Day gifts this year, per the NRF survey. They will spend an average of $189.74 this Mother’s Day, 61.6% more than the average $117.42 that women will spend. Looking at age-related spending trends, 25-34-year-olds will spend the most on average ($216.75), followed by 18-24-year-olds ($187.84) and 35-44-year-olds ($179.67).
Flowers Still A Go-To Gift
According to the NRF survey, the most popular items that consumers will buy on Mother’s Day are greeting cards (82.7%), flowers (66.4%), a special outing (54.3%), gift cards or certificates (40.4%), clothing or clothing accessories (32.8%), and jewelry (31.2%). Among the online shoppers surveyed by PriceGrabber, 73% will buy a greeting card along with their gift, with flowers (43%) being the most popular gift, ahead of gift cards (22%), clothing and accessories (17%), jewelry (15%), and an experiential gift (15%).
In terms of total spend, the NRF results show jewelry generating the most, at $3.7 billion, followed by special outings ($3.4 billion), flowers ($2.2 billion), and gift cards ($1.8 billion).
Consumer Electronics Slightly Less Popular
After rising 48% in 2011 (see link above), the number of people planning to buy consumer electronics or computer accessories dipped this year, dropping from 13.3% to 12.7%, although the total spend is projected to rise from $1.6 billion to $1.8 billion. This is supported by the PriceGrabber survey results, which found that 13% of respondents will buy a tech-type gift such as a computer, tablet, or smartphone. The most popular type of tech gift indicated by those consumers is a tablet (51%), followed by a smartphone (21%), e-reader (15%), computer (15%), and camera (13%).
1 in 4 Tablet Owners to Buy on Device
Meanwhile, tablet owners are more likely than smartphone owners to use their devices for shopping-related activities this Mother’s Day (51.2% vs. 39.3%). In fact, they are almost twice as likely to say they will purchase products on their device (24.4% vs. 12.4%).
Among other activities, tablet owners are 40.6% more likely than smartphone owners to say they will research products and compare prices using their device (35.7% vs. 25.4%). There is more agreement between tablet and smartphone owners when it comes to using applications to research or purchase products (12.8% vs. 9.2%) and to redeeming coupons (13.5% vs. 10.1%), and they are relatively on par with their plans to use their devices to look up retailer information (19.6% vs. 18.7%).
- 5% of the PriceGrabber respondents say that they will purchase their Mother’s Day gift from a mobile device, while 52% will buy from an online store using a computer, and 43% will buy in a brick-and-mortar store.
- Among PriceGrabber respondents planning to spend more this year, the most popular reasons are personal (53%), better deals (20%), and a better economic outlook (20%). Among those expecting to spend less, the leading reasons are the current economic environment (46%), higher gas prices (22%), and personal reasons (20%).
- 29% will use a daily deal website to shop for their Mother’s Day gift.
- The most popular retailer tactics that would entice these online consumers to buy a product or service are free shipping (53%), price cuts (43%), and sales (38%).
- 64.5% of the NRF survey respondents plan to buy a Mother’s Day gift for their mother or stepmother, while 22.4% will do so for their wife, and 10.5% for their daughter.
- 36.3% of the NRF survey respondents will purchase gifts at a specialty store. Other popular destinations are department stores (35.6%), discount stores (30.2%), and online (25.6%).
- 29% of the PriceGrabber survey respondents said they do not plan on purchasing a Mother’s Day gift this year. 13.5% of the NRF respondents said they don’t celebrate Mother’s Day.
About the Data: The NRF 2012 Mother’s Day consumer spending survey was conducted by BIGinsight. The poll of 8,724 consumers was fielded from April 3-10, 2012. The PriceGrabber survey was conducted between March 26 and April 9, 2012 among 4,295 US online shopping consumers.