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What we can Expect this Mother’s Day (Hint: It’s Going to be a BIG One)

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The past year has been difficult. Many dealt with feelings of loss, defeat, and general unsettlement. It was not all bad, though. Through this crisis also came a renewed sense of compassion. We saw a surge in value placed on relationships with loved ones, and greater significance placed on feelings of thankfulness and appreciation for all the love and support that did surround us.

With that said, Mother’s Day, May 9, will likely still look a bit different this year than it has in years past, and not just in terms of how we celebrate…but how we gift buy. In fact, it may just be the biggest one ever. Our NetElixir team forecasts ecommerce sales will see a minimum of a 30% year-over-year increase on what was an incredible 2020 sales base. We predict most of the shopping to happen in the three-to-five day window prior to the holiday, with May 5 and 6 forecast to be the busiest online shopping days. With time still left for marketers to plan ahead, let’s explore the three key behavioral buying shifts that we anticipate:

1. People will purchase more expensive gifts, particularly in the fashion and jewelry markets.

We forecast the average order value to increase 13% to 15% year-over-year this year. There is also one specific vertical that we are closely monitoring. Fashion and jewelry sales experienced a strong rebound earlier this year, as more people began to venture outside of the home and re-engage in activities with friends and loved ones. In Q1, online sales for fashion apparel were up 50% year-over-year, and online jewelry sales were up 35% year-over-year. The average order value for fashion and jewelry sales also increased in Q1, up 28% year-over-year. We predict Mother’s Day will see year-over-year growth patterns within this market segment escalate even higher this quarter.

2. Fashion and jewelry won’t be the only market segments to experience an online shopping surge.

What is Mother’s Day without a beautiful bouquet of flowers? Online sales for the floral market are also projected to peak for the holiday, with NetElixir expecting to see 30% to 35% year-over-year growth. Beyond that, categories like home décor and faith-based gift items may well see growth exceed 70% year over year. Specifically, we have our eye on religious gifts this holiday. Gifts that convey hope and affiliation will be popular this year, as Mother’s Day is the first holiday where now more than half of the nation has at least received one dose of the vaccine and optimism is on the rise.

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3. Mobile devices will drive over 72% of all searches and over 56% of all online sales.

Last year, mobile devices only drove 48% of all Mother’s Day purchases. We anticipate that mobile purchases will follow a very similar trajectory to how they behaved in years past, with mobile sales spiking three to seven days prior to Mother’s Day. We can anticipate buy online, pickup in-store deals to be an important driver this year.

What does all of this mean for marketers in the weeks ahead, and even beyond? We are experiencing market rebounds across categories. For retail marketers and consumers alike, hope and optimism are not just on the horizon, but on the rise.


Udayan Bose is Founder and CEO of NetElixir. He founded the company with a vision to provide online marketers worldwide with a paid search campaign optimization solution capable of delivering magical performance. Bose recognized the potential of search marketing as an essential advertising channel in 2004. Having experienced firsthand the complexity involved in running a profitable paid search campaign, he was driven to develop a system that delivers predictable and efficient campaign performance, allowing marketers to fully leverage the power of paid search as a high value sales generator. Prior to starting NetElixir, Bose was Director of Business Development for PartyGaming, the world’s largest online gaming company. In this role he was responsible for building a new business unit from scratch, PartyBingo, which went on to become a major revenue generator for the company. Bose regularly lectures the MBA classes at the Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University; Zicklin School of Business, Baruch, NY and the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. He has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes and Time magazines and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.

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