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Three Ways to Entice Fathers’ Day Shoppers

When it comes to spending on one’s parents, the focus on Mothers’ Day permeates virtually all segments of advertising and retail to a much greater degree than it does for Fathers’ Day. But the National Retail Federation suggests ecommerce pros should pay attention to the upcoming Fathers’ Day on June 15th, and position themselves for a successful sales boost.

Research by the NRF suggested total Fathers’ Day spending will reach $12.5 billion. Their 2014 Father’s Day Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics says on average people will spend $113.80 on their dad, a drop from $119.84 in 2013.

No reasonable online seller should wish to leave potential sales on the table, even if Fathers’ Day spending pales in comparison to Mothers’ Day and the Christmas holiday season. Contributors to NRF’s look at Fathers’ Day’s potential for ecommerce offered three suggestions to help gain holiday sales.

Russ Somer, CMO for Invodo, had a suggestion for sites that utilize product videos and have created landing pages that feature popular Father’s Day gift ideas: add videos for some of those products. “Add the video to the campaign landing pages just as you’ve already added it to your product or category pages,” he recommended.

Rimm-Kaufman Group’s Ryan Gibson encouraged search advertisers to push their bids on terms that showed stronger performance around previous Fathers’ Days. “Consider tagging Father’s Day product pages for search retargeting. Push bids for those searchers who have previously viewed those Father’s Day products but don’t convert,” he suggested. And remember to reduce bids back to normal levels after the shipping cutoff for the gift to arrive in time for Father’s Day, he said.

A combined push using email marketing and social media in the form of Facebook could be helpful for Fathers’ Day as well. According to Ross Kramer, CEO of Listrak, Fathers’ Day emails and Facebook’s Custom Audiences lets sellers “retarget a particular segment – for example, females ages 25-45 – with a Father’s Day ad,” which would appear in their Facebook feeds.

As for what shoppers are looking for, most people (64.1%) will simply say thank you to dad with a greeting card. Four in 10 (41.5%) will treat dad to new apparel items such as neckties and sweaters, spending a total of $1.8 billion, while another 42.6 percent will celebrate with special outings such as dinner or a tickets to a sporting event, spending a total of $2.5 billion.

The survey also found that those celebrating Father’s Day will spend $1.6 billion on electronic gifts like smartphones and tablets, and $1.8 billion on gift cards, letting dad pick his own special gift.

But what do dads want for Father’s Day? eBates commissioned a national survey conducted online by uSamp of 1,000 adults in May 2014 and found they want high-tech items, like a laptop (43 percent), an Apple iPad (30 percent), a Samsung Galaxy tablet (24 percent), or a Samsung Galaxy smartphone (21 percent). Also making it on the list were an Xbox One (20 percent), PS4 (18 percent), and a Samsung or Pebble Smartwatch (13 percent).

Other popular gift choices include tickets to a sporting event (31 percent), clothes (22 percent), “time to myself” (20 percent), and a getaway trip with a friend (19 percent).

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David A Utter
David A Utter
David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. He has covered technology topics from search to security to online business and has been quoted in places like ZDNet and BusinessWeek. He considers his appearance on NPR's "All Things Considered" with long-time host Robert Siegel a delightful highlight. You can find him on Twitter @davidautter and on LinkedIn.