Voice of the Customer

New research from leading retail and shopper marketing agency, Savvy, has revealed Mother’s Day spending plans for UK shoppers. The survey (of 1,000 household shopping decision makers) indicates an increased level of shopper involvement this year, presenting retailers with a great opportunity to inspire shoppers and increase sales.

Alastair Lockhart, insight director at Savvy Marketing commented “Mother’s day is one of the most lucrative calendar events. However, our research suggests that despite increased interest from shoppers in spending their money on the occasion, the retail experience often fails to meet their expectations. 18 percent of shoppers say they would like to see retailer invest more in the event.”

Key findings:

  • Who will be celebrating the event?
    • 68 percent of UK shoppers are planning to celebrate Mother’s day this year – up three percent on 2015.
    • Women remain more engaged in celebrating the event than the men – 73 percent compared with 61 percent respectively but men are now much more involved than last year (up eight percent on last year).
    • 83 percent of all shoppers planning to get involved agree that Mother’s day is a special event and 61 percent are looking forward to the day.
    • 59 percent agreed with the statement that ‘Mother’s day is a day we share with all generations of the family’ and 68 percent agreed that it was a day that the family spends together.
    • Trading up – 28 percent of shoppers said they tend to trade up to buy more expensive food and drinks on the day – up four percent on 2015 figures.
    • Planning in advance what shoppers are going to buy for the event is more likely this year – 55 percent compared with 42 percent last year.
    • 67 percent of shoppers agree that they ‘don’t mind spending more to make Mother’s Day special’ up 28 percent on 2015 figures.
  • How will we be purchasing gifts?
    • 38 percent of shoppers plan to purchase Mother’s day presents online.
    • As for buying instore, 53 percent of shoppers agreed that Mother’s day products presented there are boring and lack inspiration.
    • If better products were available (online or instore) 42 percent of shoppers said they would be prepared to spend more.
    • Spending more on gifts this year is on the cards for 37 percent of shoppers.
  • What are shoppers planning to buy this year?
    • Traditional gifts of shop bought cards, flowers and chocolates win out and less non-purchase gifting taking place.
    • Topping the shopping list this year are shop bought cards with 57 percent planning to buy these (up 24 percent of 2015 figures).
    • Gifts of flowers are planned by 31 percent of shoppers (up just one percent on last year) and chocolates place third with 21 percent giving the gift of cocoa.
    • 30 percent of shoppers are planning to buy a personalised gift.
    • Homemade cards and gifts are much less likely this year with just seven percent apiece included in purchase plans compared with 24 percent and 12 percent respectively in 2015.
    • 14 percent were not expecting to purchase any gifts this year.
  • What do shoppers want from retailers?
    • A good range of gifts to buy to suit different budgets topped the wish list – with 39 percent of shoppers asking for this.
    • 37 percent of shoppers want ideas for presents. To be inspired.
    • A dedicated aisle for the event appeals to 27 percent of shoppers.
    • 20 percent of shoppers want all of the items needed to cook breakfast, lunch and dinner in one place.
    • A premium flower shop was a desire for 16 percent of shoppers.
    • Competitions to win gifts for mum’s appeals to 15 percent of shoppers.

Alastair Lockhart, Insight Director at Savvy concludes: “As we’ve seen across other calendar events, the value retailers are driving much of the market growth. The likes of Aldi and the pound stores continue to ramp up their offers, helping drive opportunistic sales.

This presents a growing challenge to the big four grocers and many high street retailers, that still account for the majority of Mother’s Day sales but face growing competition. It is our view that greater investment and, more importantly, innovation and creativity will be required over the next few years to really take advantage of trade up opportunities and unlock the full potential of the event. At the moment, in all honesty, it can feel a little bit samey each year.”

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