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Prepare your campaigns for Mother’s Day gifting

Two women embrace with closed eyes and one of them holds a laptop computer.

With Mother’s Day approaching, we looked at online gifting to see what consumer insights could tell us about online search and shopping behavior for this popular holiday. The trends did not disappoint. The best news is there’s plenty advertisers can do now to prepare for the influx of searchers. Here’s what we learned:

The average U.S. citizen spent about $220 on Mother’s Day in 2021. That’s $16 more than in 2020, and it’s been steadily increasing. Queries containing “Mother’s Day” begin to spike about a week before, with the highest searches occurring on the day itself, but preparations should start long before. Mom would expect you to be prepared, wouldn’t she?

Now, let’s get into the details.

Timing your Mother’s Day messaging

For advertisers, timing your holiday messaging is critically important. Begin awareness tactics as soon as interest picks up five weeks before the holiday. This way, you can increase brand exposure on search at the beginning of April to maximize conversions.

Top queries containing “Mother’s Day” over the last three years include:

  • Mother’s Day gifts
  • Mother’s Day images
  • Mother’s Day cards handmade
  • Mother’s Day gift box
  • Happy Mother’s Day gif
  • Printable Mother’s Day cards
  • Mother’s Day rings
  • Mother’s Day shirts
  • DIY Mother’s Day gift ideas

Pro tip: Expose new emerging search trends and themes with Dynamic Search Ads and broad match keywords to gain awareness and increase brand exposure.

Popular gifts to give

Flowers, as always, are expected to be the most popular gift this Mother’s Day, followed closely by a special meal or sweets—because mama always said she loves a box of chocolates, or something like that.

  • “Flower arrangement” searches skyrocketed +57% year over year (YoY) during Mother’s Day 2020, likely due to pandemic lockdowns and no-contact delivery solutions from local flower shops.
  • The top three most popular Mother’s Day purchases in 2021 were greetings cards, flowers, and special outings such as meals or restaurant gift cards.
  • Restaurant-related searches grew 46% YoY during Mother’s Day week in 2021. They were significantly higher than in the past three years, suggesting people are growing more excited to go out again.
  • Jewelry saw a +26% YoY lift in searches the week of Mother’s Day in 2021 before falling in late May.

The terms “gifts” and “experiences” are popular, while “apparel” is steady from March to May as a popular gift to give. All apparel subcategories have seen a spike around Mother’s Day in past years, but 2021 searches were higher than previous years and remained relatively stable.

Pro tips: Showcase these items with Merchant Promotions to display special offers on specific products or sitewide sales to differentiate ads and offers from competitors.

Use Smart Shopping Campaigns with Product Ads to cost-effectively scale your ad campaigns and boost your conversion rates by showing the right ad to the right user at the right time.

Try Multimedia Ads to own the top of the search engine results page (SERP) with visually aesthetic ads for your top-converting categories.

What mom really wants—and from where

While mom says all she wants is time with her family, her click behavior tells another story. Spas were the second-most-clicked gift last year, while over 20% of mothers surveyed have said they would like a spa visit in 2022.

Buying local is a critical component of shopping for many consumers in the United States. Over half of people say they plan to shop at a local store or restaurant this Mother’s Day, complementing the growth we have seen YoY for local queries. While they may plan to visit stores locally, many will first search online for deals, offers and information.

Pro tips: Search ad extensions enhance the visibility and relevance of your text ads to increase performance and improve your return on investment (ROI).

Entice nearby shoppers who shop locally by implementing location targeting and showcasing your products and local retail store information to them with Local Inventory Ads.

Try ad extensions to draw additional attention to your local business:

  • Location Extensions: Put address and phone number information in your ads so local searchers can easily find your business.
  • Review Extensions: Tell your customers about your great ratings by displaying a positive review from an independent, respected third-party source.
  • Image Extensions: Grab customers’ attention and help increase clicks with ad extensions that allow you to place photographs directly in your ads.
  • Structured Snippet Extensions: Entice potential customers to click your ad by spotlighting your popular products and services.

How to maximize your sales this Mother’s Day

Reaching users across search and native together can make the most significant incremental lift in site visitation and conversion rates. We recently conducted several studies to understand the value of the Microsoft Audience Network combined with search.

Pro tip: Use the Microsoft Audience Network with search to reengage site visitors already in the research phase who visit your site and to educate new customers on your offering versus competitors.

People exposed to ads in both search and native environments are more likely to visit websites and convert. Specifically, those who have seen the retailer’s ad on Microsoft Bing and the Microsoft Audience Network have a 3.3 times higher site visit rate than those only exposed to an ad on Microsoft Bing. Those users not only visit the retailer’s website more but also convert 6.9 times more.

Read a sweet customer success story about how Santa Barbara Chocolate achieved a 476% increase in its conversion rate and raised its average revenue growth by 315% in less than a year.

The takeaway is that search and native should work together during your Mother’s Day advertising and not as separate campaigns. Additionally, advertisers should not split audiences by channel. The research shows that reaching the same user in both channels increases engagement and sales.

Plan campaign timing and spend to account for spikes in the weeks leading up to the holiday and use the right channel mix, but most of all, enjoy some time with mom.

Download the Mother’s Day 2022 insights

To get the full scoop about Mother’s Day trends and insights, download the full report. To all mothers, advertisers or not, we wish you a happy Mother’s Day!

Source: Microsoft Advertising internal data, Mother’s Day Insights, February 2022.

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