From a new tie and a fresh pair of socks, to a round of golf, to a Sunday afternoon grilling, there’s no wrong way to celebrate dad on Father’s Day. According to a report by the National Retail Federation, the average American typically spends around $170 on Father’s Day, which puts it behind Mother’s Day, but still makes it one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year.
As the leader in global ecommerce acceleration, we’re constantly analyzing trends in online commerce to help brands understand how various events (like Father's Day) impact consumer behavior. So, with Father’s Day around the corner, we wanted to discover:
- Which categories get the biggest boost during Father’s Day?
- Which ones don’t see much of an increase?
- Has the pandemic changed the way people shop for Father’s Day?
Our data science team analyzed market demand for a range of Father’s Day gifting categories on Amazon over the past three years and published some of our key findings.
Topline Data and Insights:
- Demand for golf gear picks up in early spring and peaks right around Father’s Day
- Demand for grills is equal on Memorial Day and Father’s Day
- Grilling equipment sees slightly more demand during Father’s Day than Memorial Day
- Other “classic” Father’s Day gifts like neckties, socks, and tools receive far less of a Father’s Day bump
- COVID-19 had mixed impact on demand for different types of Father’s Day gifts
- Golf clothing and equipment demand dipped in the early months of the pandemic and has rebounded to new heights in 2021 and 2022
- Demand for grills and outdoor cooking equipment surged in 2020, but have begun to slow down
- Demand for neckties dropped significantly in 2020, and have only recently begun to recover
Let’s dig into the data.
Top Categories with the Biggest Father’s Day Boost
There are a lot of time-tested Father’s Day gifts, so we examined the demand for dozens of categories that are typically popular to see which ones got the biggest (or smallest) boosts. We then examined weekly demand during the week just before Father’s Day and compared that to demand throughout the rest of the year.
Below are 25 categories that received the biggest increase in weekly demand during the week prior to Father’s Day last year:
The bulk of our categories included grilling and golf items and accessories, and it’s clear that these are indeed some of the most popular items during Father’s Day.
Demand for men’s golf shorts shot up by a whopping 134% during the week of Father’s Day, easily the largest increase out of any category in our analysis. Grill accessories like grill baskets, heat plates, and barbecue tool sets also got significant weekly bumps. In fact, every single one of the top 25 categories had something to do with golf or grills.
For comparison, here are some of the categories that received slightly smaller increases in demand, or in some cases decreases.
In our analysis, men’s pocket watches was the non-golf and grill category that received the largest bump in demand. With a 32% increase, it sees a healthy bump, but is still well outside of our top performers.
Other classic Father’s Day gifts like socks and neckties actually received very little increase in demand, suggesting that those types of gifts aren’t really the go-to they once were. At least not when it comes to online shopping.
The Impact of Father’s Day on Golf Gear
Let’s take a closer look at the weekly trends for some golf categories:
Looking at some of the broader golf-related categories reveals that Father’s Day is indeed the biggest week of the year when it comes to golf equipment and clothing. Golf clothing accessories, in particular, relies heavily on Father’s Day to drive demand, while golf equipment also experiences significant demand during the holiday shopping season.
Let’s take a quick look at some more specific categories:
While men’s golf shorts may have gotten the largest weekly increase in demand during Father’s Day, Memorial Day actually drove even more demand, bringing a 163% increase. Categories whose biggest weeks of the year fell during the week prior to Father’s Day included men’s golf caps, socks, and golf club head covers.
Interestingly, while golf shorts were a big hit around Father’s Day, that wasn’t the case for golf pants, which are a lot more popular in early spring and around the holidays.
The Impact of Father’s Day on Grills and Outdoor Cooking Equipment
Now let’s look at the other major category, grills and outdoor cooking equipment:
Father’s Day and Memorial Day make up the biggest weeks of the year for major purchases like grills and smokers, with the two holidays receiving nearly identical spikes in demand.
Tools and accessories, on the other hand, see a bit more demand during Father’s Day, no doubt as a combination of more affordable Father’s Day gifts and a lot of shoppers looking to add new equipment to the grill they got over Memorial Day.
Let’s dig a little deeper into some of those grill accessories:
Father’s Day is the biggest week of the year for grill accessories of all types including grill baskets, griddles, tool sets, and scrapers.
When it comes to smoking meats, though, there’s no time like the holidays, as November through December saw the biggest weeks of the year for stocking up on wood smoker chips.
How “Classic” Father’s Day Gifts Stack Up
Finally, let’s take a quick look at a few of the types of gifts frequently associated with Father’s Day.
While most of these categories get a substantial boost during Father’s Day, other times of the year are clearly more important. Smartwatches and regular watches both saw demand spike right around Father’s Day, but those are almost certainly due to Amazon Prime Day, which fell on June 21 and 22, the two days immediately after Father’s Day.
The week prior to Father’s Day, which is when the holiday drives the most online demand, brought modest boosts to hand tools and tool sets, but ones that fell well behind the holiday surge.
Neckties, one of the all time “classic” Father’s Day gifts, saw very little demand last year. Although, we do see a huge surge in the fall of 2021. Was this perhaps influenced by COVID and more fathers returning to work in-person around that time last year?
Let’s wrap up this report by taking a long look back at monthly trends for Father’s Day categories over the past three years.
How COVID-19 Impacts Popular Father’s Day Gifts
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on demand for gifts and items associated with all sorts of holidays, but does that hold true for Father’s Day? Were people more or less likely to buy their dad some golfing gear in the early months of the pandemic? Did outdoor cooking supplies see a huge surge? What about neckties?
Let’s start, once again, with golfing gear.
Demand for golf clothing clearly dipped in the first months of the pandemic in 2020, it then remained under 2019 levels until November and December.
2021 saw demand recover quickly, rising well above pre-pandemic levels in the spring, and staying high throughout the year. 2022 mostly continues that trend, so Father’s Day this year may see more golf shorts and hats being gifted to dads than ever before.
It’s a similar story for golf equipment, with demand once again dipping in early spring 2020 and remaining behind 2019 throughout the year before a significant rebound in 2021.
The other major Father’s Day gift category, outdoor grills and equipment, experienced a much different type of pandemic-related impact.
Outdoor grills and smokers actually saw demand begin to outpace pre-pandemic levels early in 2020, peaking during the months of Memorial Day and Father’s Day in 2020. 2021 started strong and saw summertime demand match that of 2020’s heights.
2022, meanwhile, has started the year behind 2021 levels, suggesting a waning demand for grills and smokers after a couple big years.
It’s even clearer when we examine outdoor cooking tools and accessories, with demand reaching an all-time high in the first year of the pandemic. Once again, 2022 has started the year somewhat slower, so this category will be one to keep an eye on this Father’s Day.
Let’s wrap up with a look at some of the other common Father’s Day gifts.
Demand for men’s watches plummeted in the early months of the pandemic, and have remained below pre-pandemic levels ever since. This could be driven by COVID-related trends or simply a move away from classic watches, so let’s take a quick look at demand for smartwatches.
We see the early pandemic dip here as well, but demand eventually recovers to above pre-pandemic levels later in 2020 and throughout 2021. Once again we see 2022 falling behind the previous year, suggesting Americans may be tightening their belts a bit more this year.
Finally, let’s close with a look at the most classic of Father’s Day gifts, the necktie:
Demand absolutely plummeted in March and April of 2020 with millions of Americans staying at home and rarely putting on anything other than sweats and a T-shirt, let alone a necktie.
Demand didn’t return to pre-pandemic levels until September of 2021, and, so far, 2022 has seen demand stay just ahead of 2019’s springtime baseline, suggesting that people are dressing up and getting out once more.
Key Brand Takeaways
From our data, it’s clear that major holidays like Father’s Day can significantly increase demand for specific categories. In this case, the second Sunday of June focuses on gear and equipment for golfing and grilling. Other items do receive small bumps, but for many categories like neckties and power tools, the holiday shopping season and Amazon Prime Day drive far more demand.
Our analysis shows traditional gifting categories (by holiday), seasonality, and price points influence consumer behavior and can help brands better understand how to forecast demand for their products across online marketplaces and even inform creative decisions and promotional cadence.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can best leverage our data to help your brand win online, holiday or not, schedule a demo today.
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