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Retail hints for Mother's Day

Considered one of the jewellery industry’s most significant annual sales events, there’s plenty retailers can do to ensure they’re ready for mother’s day. TALIA PAZ reports.

Mother’s Day – the one day of the year men, women, teens and young people alike collectively celebrate mothers by showering them with love, appreciation – and jewellery.

Not surprisingly, this day is considered the industry’s second largest trading period after Christmas, and with good reason – according to the National Retail Association (NRA) consumers spent approximately $1.5 billion last year, with jewellery one of the top areas for spending.

“If there’s one occasion we can all agree to celebrate at the moment, it would have to be Mother’s Day,” NRA CEO Dominique Lamb says.

“Jewellery has been, and always will be, a top choice for showing our gratitude for what these wonderful women give to all of us.”

With that in mind, we sought feedback from suppliers, retailers and marketing experts on how retailers can maximise sales in the lead up to the special day on 13 May.

Take care, prepare

"If there’s one occasion we can all agree to celebrate at the moment, it would have to be Mother’s Day,"
Dominique Lamb,CEO at NRA

There is a question as to when retailers should begin their Mother’s Day marketing efforts, with the general consensus being that it should be one to three weeks beforehand.

Sigrid de Kaste, a former jeweller and marketing consultant and director of Stickybeak Marketing, recommends taking a strategic approach.

“I would suggest to start after the Easter Monday week is over. Why? Many are on holidays over Easter and the week after,” de Kaste explains.

“As a general rule, [its best to start] about three weeks before the date – if you are too early, the message gets lost in the noise of other offers.”

Cheryle Roberts, director of supplier Stones & Silver, agrees with those sentiments, adding that her business will be conducting a ‘Get ready for Mother’s Day campaign’ from mid April that will include some Mother’s Day classic items, along with “beautiful new and modern designs.”

Fabuleux Vous director Helen Thompson-Carter offers her own take on the matter: “I think 10 to 15 days prior is plenty – any longer and it doesn’t work. However, running something special in store the week before does work.”

Spreading the love

Although most demographics will be shopping for Mother’s Day gifts, anecdotal evidence suggests that retailers should place greater focus on male shoppers because of their propensity to purchase higher value items.

For example, a study conducted in the UK by market research company Mintel found that, while women are still more likely to buy a Mother’s Day present than men, when men do spend, they spend more. It’s an intriguing thought, and one that not all retailers would necessarily have thought – or agree with.

Fabuleux Vous
Fabuleux Vous

“I think it is for everyone to enjoy,” Thompson-Carter says when asked her opinion.

“My father always buys a little something for our mother to say thank you for being the mother of his children. My children give a little something to their godmothers, to their grandmothers and to me, their mother.

“It’s treated as a ‘family’ celebration – after all, every family starts with a parent, and most with a mother,” she adds.

Angie Ash, executive vice president of Fruchtman, a US-based jewellery marketing business, agrees that male consumers are the demographic spending the most. She also believes retailers’ core demographic should not be so easily dismissed. “We see jewellery spends coming from mums purchasing for their daughters or their own mums,” Ash reiterates.

Najo managing director Jo Tory agrees with these sentiments. “As Mother’s Day is a big day for promotions, we see a boost in our core female audience, as it is a treat for themselves or for mum,” Tory says. “In saying that, there is also a noticeable increase with our male clients.”

This is also the case for Simon Garber, director of local distributor Heart & Grace, whose portfolio encompasses Cluse watches.

“Although Millennial women aged 20 to 40 are leading the charge, on Mother’s Day it’s best to target men by showcasing your Mother’s Day specials in businesses with male patrons,” Garber says.

Ash says that Millennials – also known as Gen Y – are another demographic retailers should pay attention to for Mother’s Day.

“You have to keep an eye out for styles that are popular with Gen Y - look at what they are wearing and how they’re wearing it,” Ash states. “Whereas an older target demo may like birthstone rings and jewellery, Gen Y prefers jewellery that is more delicate or includes sayings and engravings, especially with names and in styles that can be worn every day.

“Pricepoint is also very important because this generation tends to be more conscious about the cost. If there is a philanthropic angle to the purchase, it’s even better. Finally, Gen Y wants to stand out in the crowd. They’re always looking for something unique before it becomes popular,” she adds.

De Kaste elaborates further: “The 20 to 30 something is the biggest age group spending on jewellery for Mother’s Day – they buy both for mum and mum-in-law and are very keen to give that gift of jewellery.”

Promoting the day

As well as targeting purchases to the right demographic appropriately, retailers should also be ensuring their promotional efforts are up to speed in preparation for the day.

“Because Mother’s Day crosses all ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds, it’s a valuable opportunity for retailers,” a 2017 article by Entrepeneur states.

“Craft campaigns that embrace imperfections – a top hashtag among Millennials is #mumfail because they are honest about how hard it is to be a mum,” it adds.

As well as incorporating hashtags on Facebook and Instagram pages that consumers can have fun with, de Kaste believes there are many ways retailers can be innovative.

“With so many competing gifts of various types to get for Mother’s Day, there are two important strategies for jewellers,” de Kaste says. “First, segment the market – offer specific items for specific age groups, like the 30 somethings, the 40 to 50 and the over 60s.

“Secondly, each segment will want different types of jewellery – a simple survey asking existing customers or checking a database as to what they buy will help here – then create a specific message to each segment.

“With so much noise in the market, it’s about immediately capturing the right audience and a specifically designed message will do that,” she adds.

Ash also believes there is value in partnering with other local businesses to promote offerings – florists or a day spa, anyone?

“Jewellers should consider offering a package that includes a gift card to an upscale salon as it’s like giving Mum two gifts in one,” Ash explains, adding, “Get your customers involved in your decision making.”

Stones and Silver
Stones and Silver

If that’s not possible, bring the party to the retailer, Thompson-Carter declares. “Imagine going into a retail store that had complimentary morning tea or good coffee or a glass of bubbles for all mothers…and by taking the time to visit, they went into a draw to win,” she muses.

“We need to get more engaged and creative for these special occasions. Make a big deal out of it – it is another opportunity to engage with customers, right from the supply chain to the consumer.”

Taking advantage of the gift giving nature of the day is another sure way to boost sales, Catherine Pevy-Trewartha, owner of My Jewellery Shop adds.

“This year, we will be doing a give away for a pair of diamond stud earrings,” she says. “Our competition will run on Facebook and Instagram as these are proving to be very popular.”

Judy Cameron of Cameron’s Fine Jewellers also echoed similar sentiments. “This Mother’s Day we will be running a Facebook competition; something like ‘tell us something special about your Mum’ and the winner will get a prize,” she explains.

Adding extras

Many retailers may have already come to the same conclusion: add-ons with purchases are a win for all.

According to Garber – who will be releasing a two-tone combination watch from its La Triomphe range for the day – customers should be offered extras such as special Mother’s Day gift bags, free gift wrapping, greeting cards or any other “fun extras that could be an additional incentive for purchasing your products.”

Heart & Grace
Heart & Grace

“These extras will go a long way towards creating a positive experience with your customers,” he adds.

Retailers might also want to consider a GWP (gifts with purchase) campaign, as is the case with Najo, which is offering silver and rose gold huggie earrings come this Mother’s Day.

“This gift with purchase – an artfully tapered tear shape design creating a modern, sculptural finish – is to boost sales but also to reward customers, as it adds to a one off purchase either for oneself or for mum,” Tory adds.

Thompson-Carter offers a similar strategy for the Fabuleux Vous range: “We provide posters, window displays, graphics for websites and social media posts – we aim to make everything as easy as possible for the retailer so all they have to concentrate on is making the sale,” she adds.

At the end of the day, consumers want help finding the perfect Mother’s Day gift, so retailers would be well advised to have everything in place, with plenty of time to spare. With a well thought out plan of attack, a bit of savvy marketing and some genuine enthusiasm, this Mother’s Day will undoubtedly be the most successful yet.

Talia Paz • Staff Journalist

Talia Paz is a staff journalist for Jeweller, and has more than three years' experience as a freelance journalist for national and international publications, covering a wide range of industries.

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