Mother’s Day: Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue, Flowers For Moms Are What You Should Do

April showers bring May flowers and that means Mother’s Day is right around the corner. Spoiler alert: flowers are still the most popular gift for Mom. Do you want to know where consumers will be shopping for gifts and how much they plan to spend? No need to go ask your mother, we have the answers for you right here. AYTM surveyed 1,000 US consumers who are planning to celebrate Mother’s Day this year. Read on for the motherload of Mom gift information.

Mother May I…Celebrate Your Awesomeness

There is a long history of motherhood celebrations around the world dating back to festivals honoring mother goddesses and the Christian ritual of Mothering Sunday. Over the years, these celebrations secularized and morphed into what we now know as Mother’s Day, celebrated in the US on the second Sunday in May. Though some decry the commercialization of this holiday, most enjoy this opportunity to shower Moms with gifts and encourage them to take a day off from their Mom duties. 75% of consumers we surveyed plan to purchase Mother’s Day gifts this year. Plus, this is not their first rodeo — 49% of respondents said they purchase gifts for this holiday every year.

And it isn’t just Moms enjoying all the presents. When asked who they would be purchasing gifts for, our respondents included many of the women in their lives.

  • 79% – Mother/step-mother
  • 23% – Mother-in-law
  • 20% – Wife/partner
  • 10% – Grandmother
  • 10% – Sister
  • 10% – Friend
  • 8% – Aunt
  • 5% – Other
  • 1% – Co-worker

Mother Knows Best

If you asked her, your Mom would most likely say “you don’t need to get me anything, hearing your voice/seeing your face is enough”. Or she might say you should shop early (and often) for Mother’s Day gifts. Our respondents seem to be following this second bit of advice with 9% shopping throughout the year when they see something appropriate, 27% starting their shopping two weeks before Mother’s Day, 35% shopping one week before, 26% hitting the stores a few days before, and just 2% shopping on Mother’s Day Sunday.

The traditional flowers topped the list of gifts consumers plan to buy this year, followed closely by cards, though a card isn’t really a gift unless it is a gift card and those were the third most popular item.

Top 10 Mother’s Day Gifts

  1. 42% – Flowers
  2. 41% – Cards
  3. 27% – Gift cards
  4. 24% – Meal at a restaurant
  5. 23% – Candy
  1. 21% – Jewelry
  2. 21% – Perfumes, lotions, etc.
  3. 20% – Personalized items
  4. 17% – Scented candles
  5. 16% – Clothing

Personalized items are more likely to be purchased by consumers ages 18-34 while gift cards are more likely to be purchased by those ages 35-54. Just out of the top 10 with 13% were experiences such as spa days, massages, day trips, etc. Experiences were more likely to be purchased by consumers with annual household incomes between $75,000-$200,000.

10% of consumers said they would be DIY-ing their gifts this year. This response was more likely to be chosen by females. Among those making gifts for Mom, the most popular handcrafted items are cards (64%), baked goods (48%), home-cooked meals (44%), and artwork (40%).

Mother’s Favorite

According to 61% of our respondents, the number one inspiration for choosing the perfect Mother’s Day gift is the person for whom the gift is being bought. Other people/places consumers look to for gift ideas are: friends and family (35%), in-store displays (31%), social media (26%), retailer’s websites (25%), advertisements (21%), online gift guides (18%), news media (5%), and other (4%).

When asked to rank the importance of Mother’s Day gift features, quality topped the list, followed closely by gifts that create a memory. Price ranked third with uniqueness fourth and personalization fifth. Rounding out the top 10 were style/aesthetics, convenience, innovative features, made locally, and sustainability/eco-friendly (sorry Mother Nature).

Mother of All Shopping Trips

Looks like consumers prefer to shop in actual brick and mortar stores for Mother’s Day gifts. 71% of respondents said they would be purchasing gifts in a store this year vs. 57% saying they would be shopping online. When asked where they have shopped for Mom in years past, 85% chose in-store vs. 61% choosing online. Walmart topped the list of favorite retailers to shop in-store, while Amazon topped the list of favorite online retailers for Mother’s Day shopping.

Amazon (or should we say A-Mom-zon) way outpaced its closest online competitor, eBay by a whopping 56 percentage points.

Top Five Retailers to Shop In-Store Top Five Online Retailers
  1. Walmart (52%)
  2. Target (37%)
  3. Kohl’s (28%)
  4. JCPenney (20%)
  5. Hallmark (20%)
  1. Amazon (77%)
  2. eBay (21%)
  3. Etsy (20%)
  4. 1-800-FLOWERS (19%)
  5. A retailer’s website (18%)

Whether shopping online or in a store, 55% of consumers plan to spend $50 or less on Mother’s Day gifts this year. Just 16% plan to spend $100+. Compared to their spending last year, 71% say they are spending about the same, 22% will spend more this year, and 5% plan to spend less.

The Takeaways

Some traditions are timeless and buying flowers for Mother’s Day is one of those traditions. Flowers are still the most popular gift item for Moms. Creating memories with gifts is also important to consumers and you don’t have to spend a lot to do that. Thus, most consumers we surveyed will spend less than $50 on gifts this year. And for the majority, this is the same amount they spent last year. It is perhaps a bit surprising that consumers value the in-store shopping experience over online for Mother’s Day gift purchases. Not only are more people shopping in store for gifts but in-store displays were chosen as a leading place to get gift inspiration. For more information on Mother’s Day spending habits in years past, take a look at these prior AYTM surveys:  2017, 2016, 2015, and 2012.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Allie Smith
Allie Smith is the former Director of Charts for eMarketer with over 15 years of experience in the world of market research. Her love for charts and graphs is only outweighed by her love for her whippets. She spends her free time watching Law & Order reruns while knitting cute hats for dogs.