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Retailers Played Favorites on Mother’s Day—Their Love Went to Google Shopping

Janelle Kozyra

Mother’s Day is the third largest retail event on the calendar, trailing only the end-of-year holiday season and back-to-school in total sales. Makes sense: Mom does an awful lot, and we naturally want to express our gratitude by pampering her with gifts.

Though the holiday is over 100 years old, how we shop for Mother’s Day has changed: 27.3% of consumers planned to buy their gifts online this year, up from 25% in 2015. But what channels are these consumers using?

Recently, Google Shopping has been making the rest of the AdWords family proud. Last quarter, channel revenue grew by 52% year-over-year. Did this momentum carry over to this year’s Mother’s Day? Here’s what the numbers tell us.

And the Flowers Go to … Google Shopping

One thing’s for sure: Google Shopping really helped consumers show just how much they love their moms.

We compared Google Shopping sales from retailers in sectors such as clothing, jewelry, and housewares during the two weeks before Mother’s Day in 2015 and 2016.

Average total revenue in the channel was up 86% YoY. Average orders climbed by 95%, average clicks jumped by 129%, and average impressions increased by 188% YoY.

What’s more, retailers doubled their spend in the channel, as its popularity among shoppers continued to grow.

If You’re Not Early, You’re Late

We also looked at sales during each day in that two-week span to see when consumers were most active on Google Shopping.

Mother's Day 2016 Average AOV Change

Our analysis found that AOV consistently declined daily as Mother’s Day drew near, suggesting that shoppers chose to buy most of their gifts earlier. Thanks to moms everywhere for teaching us all that it pays to plan ahead …

E-commerce marketers active on Google Shopping can draw a similar lesson from these findings: When preparing strategy for for an upcoming holiday, it’s better to be early. Average AOV declined from $78.75 on April 25, 2015 to settle at around $60.00 on Mother’s Day.

It’s likely that last-minute shoppers were using Google Shopping to find the perfect gift for Mom.

This is a drop of around 23%, which should provide plenty of motivation to get out ahead of your next big holiday.

Interestingly, we noticed average AOV jumped 14.26% on the Thursday before Mother’s Day, before continuing its downward trend. It’s likely that last-minute shoppers were using Google Shopping to find the perfect gift for Mom. (Two-day shipping, anyone?)

If you’re seeing an uptick like that in your historical data, consider bumping up your bids on the right days to pick up late shoppers.

Stay Tuned …

Speaking of seasonal trends, it’s no secret that managing your Google Shopping campaigns and bids around seasonality can be complex. Marketers often ask us how they should plan for seasonal lift, how to bid products to take advantage of the traffic spike, and how to pull back as seasons end.

Addressing those challenges will only become a higher priority as Google Shopping continues to grow and retailers make the channel a bigger part of their marketing budgets.

Whether your big seasonal period is Mother’s Day or another time, I have good news: We’re planning to post a new e-book in the next few weeks that covers our team’s best practices for managing seasonality in Google Shopping. Keep your eyes peeled.