Mother’s Day vs. Father’s Day: Who Gets the Most Attention?

June 17, 2016 Posted by - Chief Marketing Officer

Father’s Day weekend is here, and if you’re like me, you might still need to run out and buy a gift or two. Fortunately for retailers, most sons and daughters are way ahead of me when it comes to shopping for dad. Cardlytics analyzed consumer purchase behavior in the weeks leading up to Father’s Day and Mother’s Day to see which retailers (and parents) get the most attention. Here’s what we found:  

Mom wins spend… On average, Mother’s Day generates twice as much incremental spend as Father’s Day.

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…but it’s the thought that counts, right Dad? 
The majority of Mother’s Day spend (61%) occurs the week before and the week of the holiday, but we start thinking about Dad well in advance. Most people are done shopping at least two weeks before Father’s Day.

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Shoppers are sticking with the classics: 
fine jewelry and flowers for Mom and a new watch for Dad. In fact, watch dealers see a 23% incremental sales growth during the Father’s Day buying period. Sporting goods come in at a close second at 22%.  

TBD on growth rates for novelty necktie sales.

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Big purchases are moving online. 
We still buy most of our gifts at brick-and-mortar stores, but some key categories saw significant holiday growth in online sales between 2013 and 2015. Namely, online electronics sales increased by 25% for Father’s Day, and online jewelry sales increased by 46% for Mother’s Day.

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Everyone gets the gift of time. 
Families take both Mom and Dad out to a nice meal on their special day. Full-service restaurants with higher average tickets see significant bumps for both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

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At the end of the (holi)day, we love Mom and Dad equally, but we express our appreciation differently in terms how much we spend and how far we plan ahead (or procrastinate). For marketers, this means kicking off Father’s Day campaigns earlier can help influence shoppers during their careful quest to find that perfect gift. It also means that ramping up marketing efforts in the eleventh hour can help retailers win a bigger share of the high Mother’s Day spend, particularly in key categories like flowers. For restaurants, the two holidays are a bit more consistent: very few of us will be at home cooking. 

Interested in more purchase-based insights? Check out our Research page here. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go find the perfect gift for my Dad and make a brunch reservation.