Mother’s Day 2019: Givers, Gifts and Phishing Emails?

This Mother’s Day, gift givers will spend a record-breaking $25.0 billion on their mothers and other women in their lives, according to an April 2019 report from the National Retail Federation (NRF), up from $23.1 billion last year.

Similar to Valentine’s Day 2019, fewer consumers are celebrating Mother’s Day in the US—84% vs. 86% in 2018—but they have loosened their purse strings. Average spending for the holiday (held on May 12 this year) will increase to about $196, over last year’s $180, according to NRF. An April 2019 survey from brand research consultancy Brand Keys found that consumers plan to spend an average of $233, up 4% from 2018.

Jewelry and special outings have seen the sharpest increase in sales over the past 10 years—growing from $2.3 billion to $5.1 billion, and $2.7 billion to $4.6 billion, respectively, per NRF data. However, traditional gifts like greeting cards and flowers top shoppers’ lists this year, followed by special outings and gift cards/certificates. And contrary to past giving trends, 34% of respondents said they were interested in gifting subscription boxes for this year’s Mother’s Day.

Brand Keys found that, when compared with last year, spending on greeting cards and flowers decreased to 96% and 88%, respectively. However, spending on spa services and gift cards will increase 11% and 5% year over year.

But regardless of the purchase, a majority (81%) of shoppers look to retailers for Mother’s Day inspiration, NRF found. Amazon (Amazon Handmade) and Kendra Scott are taking note, offering shoppers curated, personalized gifts.

Nearly half of consumers look for personalization—44% of respondents said finding something unique was the most important aspect of picking out a Mother’s Day gift. Thirty-nine percent said they look for gifts that create a special memory.

Like most shopping holidays, there will always be last-minute buyers. And holidays like Mother’s Day are prime time for bogus websites to take advantage of buyers in a hurry through fraudulent behavior like phishing emails or bad URL codes. For merchants, getting in front of this consumer entry point is key to ensuring customer loyalty for the long term.

“When working to ensure consumer safety and privacy this Mother’s Day, merchants should take steps to ensure user credentials and credit card numbers are safe,” said Ryan Wilk, vice president of customer success at NuData Security, a Mastercard company. “Protecting current customers from fraud and safeguarding future customers from having their data compromised can save a relationship and maximize lifetime spend.”

Retailers should get ahead of these potential risks to ensure their customers are adequately and safely prepared for a day dedicated only to celebrating mothers (instead of focusing on canceling credit cards or dealing with gifts that didn’t arrive).