Mother’s Day Survey: 2017 a Big Year for Online Gift Shopping

For Mother’s Day 2017, 67% of gift shoppers plan on doing at least some of their shopping online. But shopping in regular retail stores is still a bit more popular. According to an infographic from Whisbi, brick-and-mortar retail stores still make more annual sales than ecommerce shops. But those online sales are increasing each year. So how might this trend, along with many struggling retail chains closing stores, impact Mother’s Day shoppers this year? We asked 1,000 respondents about their Mother’s Day shopping habits and how those habits have changed over time.

mother's day gifts

Mother’s Day Shoppers

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest online survey, 64% said that they are at least somewhat likely to purchase gifts for Mother’s Day this year. Of those respondents, 83% said that they plan on shopping for gifts in retail stores. 67% plan on shopping online for Mother’s Day gifts. And 19% said they’re likely to shop on mobile devices. According to Personality Radar, those who are likely to shop for Mother’s Day gifts this year are active, trendy homeowners or heads of household.

Of those who are likely to purchase Mother’s Day gifts, 86% said they’re likely to buy gifts for their moms or step-moms. 20% plan on buying gifts for their wives or partners. 18% are likely to buy gifts for their grandmothers. 14% plan to buy Mother’s Day gifts for friends. And 12% plan to buy gifts for aunts.

In addition, the most popular time for people to purchase Mother’s Day gifts seems to be just over a week before the holiday. Just 6% of shoppers said that they’ve already purchased Mother’s Day gifts at this point. 28% said they are likely to finish their Mother’s Day shopping more than two weeks before the holiday. 33% are likely to shop for Mother’s Day gifts more than a week before the holiday. 23% plan on shopping a few days before Mother’s Day. 3% plan on waiting until the last minute. 1% actually plan on buying gifts after Mother’s Day. And 5% are unsure.

Popular Gifts

Cards and flowers still seem to be the most popular items when it comes to Mother’s Day gifts. 69% of Mother’s Day shoppers said they plan on buying cards. 57% said they’re likely to buy flowers. 41% said they plan on buying clothing or accessories. 40% are likely to buy home items. 28% are likely to buy food items as gifts. 25% are likely to buy books or entertainment items. 13% are likely to buy gadgets or other tech items. And just 12% are undecided about the types of gifts they’re going to buy at this point.

Even though more consumers say they’re likely to shop in stores than online, Amazon was named as the most popular place for people to shop for Mother’s Day gifts in 2017. Walmart and Target were nearly as popular among respondents. And others also named Hallmark, eBay, Macy’s and Kohl’s as popular shops for Mother’s Day gifts.

When it comes time to make those actual buying decisions, it seems that price and quality are most important. 34% of Mother’s Day shoppers ranked price as their most important determining factor when considering gift purchases. 26% named quality as most important. Another 26% look for personal touches. Just 6% care most about convenience. 5% value style and aesthetics over all. And just 1% care most about sustainability and innovative new features.

Online Shopping

In past years, 48% of respondents said that they’ve bought Mother’s Day gifts pretty much every year. 35% have bought them many times. 10% have purchased Mother’s Day gifts at least once or twice in the past. And just 8% said they’ve never bought Mother’s Day gifts. Of those who have bought Mother’s Day gifts at least on occasion, 88% said that they have mostly shopped in stores. Just 54% said that they’ve regularly shopped online for Mother’s Day gifts in the past. And 11% have shopped on mobile devices.

More generally, 83% of respondents agreed that they shop online more often now than they did five years ago. And just 26% said that they shop in retail stores more often than they did five years ago. 76% said they find shopping online to be easier than shopping in stores. And 82% said that they’re able to find more options when shopping online.

Key Takeaways

Online shopping certainly seems to be getting more popular among Mother’s Day gift shoppers. But it’s still not quite as popular as shopping in actual retail stores. The survey results suggest a couple of possible explanations for this. First, items like cards and flowers are still the most popular types of gifts. And many consumers likely consider it to be more practical to purchase those items in stores, unless they’re having them delivered right to the recipient. And secondly, a fair amount of respondents wait until just a week before Mother’s Day or later to shop for gifts. So unless online stores offer free rush shipping or call attention to last minute shopping options, consumers might just assume that they have no choice left but to visit stores in person. However, the majority of consumers do seem to appreciate the variety and convenience of shopping online for other purchases. So if online retailers can remind customers to make their purchases early enough for Mother’s Day, or offer some last-minute promotions that make it possible for gift buyers to receive their items in time for the holiday, they could very well increase business even more going forward.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: Mother’s Day Gift Ideas! by The Greenery Nursery and Garden Shop under CC BY 2.0

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on April 23 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.