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Is Jewelry the Most Popular Mother’s Day Gift?

From hand-drawn notes to fancy jewelry, Americans are serious about celebrating moms with gifts of all shapes and sizes. According to a report by the National Retail Federation, the average American typically spends over $200 on Mother’s Day gifts, making it one of the largest 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 Mother’s Day) impact consumer behavior. So, with Mother’s Day around the corner, we wanted to discover:

  • Which categories get the biggest boost during Mother’s Day?
  • Which ones don’t see much of an increase?
  • And has the pandemic changed the way people shop for Mother’s Day?

To find out the answers to these questions, our data science team chose an array of popular categories containing Mother’s Day gifts and analyzed market demand on Amazon over the past few years.

Which categories get the biggest Mother’s Day boost?

There are a lot of popular things to get Mom on Mother’s Day, but we wanted to start at a high level by examining a few broad categories. We then examined weekly demand during the week just before Mother’s Day and compared that to demand throughout the rest of the year. Here’s what we found:

There’s simply no time of year for fresh cut flowers quite like Mother’s Day. The week prior to the holiday, demand shot up by a stunning 269% compared to the annual average last year, far and away the largest boost out of any of our 4 primary categories. Jewelry saw a healthy 38% increase, while greeting cards saw demand rise by 7%. Home & kitchen items, meanwhile, actually saw demand slightly decrease during the week prior to Mother’s Day. Let’s take a closer look at each of these categories.

Fresh cut flowers gets its first massive boost during the week before Valentine’s Day, when demand shoots up by 143%. A figure that puts into perspective just how much more impressive Mother’s Day is as it nearly doubles the Valentine’s Day boost. Demand remains mostly flat throughout the rest of the entire year, with a modest boost during the holidays, highlighting just how important Mother’s Day is for flower shops and florists across the country.

While jewelry may not see quite as large an increase in demand during Mother’s Day as fresh cut flowers, the week prior to Mother’s Day is tied with the week of Black Friday for the biggest week of the year. After a post-Mother’s Day dip, demand shot back up during Amazon Prime Day, which was the third largest holiday of the year. But, again, it’s Black Friday through Christmas that drives by far the most sustained demand.

Mother’s Day does, indeed, drive some demand for Greeting Cards, just edging out Father’s Day for the third largest greeting card holiday of the year. But with demand nearly doubling during the two weeks prior to Valentine’s Day, it’s far and away the clear winner, dwarfing even the holidays, which drive significant demand in their own right.

Home and Kitchen items, meanwhile, saw very little increase during the weeks leading up to Mother’s Day. Instead, it’s Black Friday and Amazon Prime Day that drive far and away the most demand.

A closer look at popular Mother’s Day categories and items

It’s clear that when it comes to celebrating Moms, their loved ones prefer special gifts like flowers and jewelry as opposed to home goods, but let’s take a closer look at some of the items in each of those categories to see which ones make the most (and least) popular gifts.

As for flowers, it’s clearly fresh cut all the way. Fresh flowers and live indoor plants also get a healthy boost in demand. Dried flowers and artificial plants and flowers, meanwhile, are a far less popular choice when looking for a Mother’s Day gift.

When we take a closer look at types of jewelry and types of jewels, anything rose quartz is a huge hit during Mother’s Day, as demand doubles the week before the holiday. Emeralds and sapphires were also popular types of jewels, while necklaces were the most popular type of jewelry to buy on Mother’s Day. Every type of jewel and jewelry in this analysis saw at least some sort of boost during the week before Mother’s Day, with diamond earrings seeing the smallest increase at 2% above the annual average. Jewelry organizers, meanwhile, saw demand decrease, once again highlighting that Mother’s Day is more about buying things meant to make moms feel special and less about practical gifts. Learn more in our article: The Market Patterns of Jewelry Demand

While home and kitchen supplies as a broad combined category may have seen demand dip below the weekly average during Mother’s Day, some categories did see at least some sort of boost during the holiday. Kitchen racks and holders experienced a 44% increase in demand, while “chocolate baking” saw a 33% increase. Certain handmade items like linens and kitchen and dining wares also experienced a modest increase, while other types of handmade items were far less popular. But while some of these categories did see demand increase, it’s important to take a step back and see where Mother’s Day fits within the context of the entire year.

A closer look at the home and kitchen item that drew the largest increase in our analysis—kitchen racks and holders—shows that Mother’s Day certainly did drive some extra demand for those items, but it’s almost nothing compared to the holiday shopping season. Which is what we saw when examining the home and kitchen category at large as well, once again highlighting that jewelry and flowers are still the gifts of choice when it comes to celebrating the mothers in your life.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Mother’s Day shopping

Finally, we wanted to see how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the way Americans shop on Mother’s Day. Two years ago saw Americans looking to celebrate Mother’s Day during the height of the initial lockdowns. So, did that change the types of gifts people searched for? Did those habits change last year? And how are things shaping up in the first couple months of 2022? Let’s start by examining fresh cut flowers:

The trendlines over the past three years for fresh cut flowers are more or less identical. Mother’s Day 2020 still brought a significant increase in demand compared to the rest of the year, but monthly demand was certainly behind that of 2019’s pre-pandemic levels. 2021, meanwhile, saw demand return to nearly exactly that of 2019, suggesting the holiday was more or less “back to normal” last year.

The pandemic appeared to have no real negative impact on demand for greeting cards. In fact, demand has only gone up each year, with Valentine’s Day in particular growing significantly year-over-year since 2019 and hitting a new all-time high this year.

The early pandemic had a clear negative impact on jewelry, with demand dropping sharply amidst the early lockdowns in 2020. It did rebound quickly in May, however, with demand during the month of Mother’s Day 2020 actually outperforming that of Mother’s Day 2021. Let’s take a quick look at this trend for our most popular type of jewelry:

Rose Quartz was apparently a surprise hit during Mother’s Day last year, as the surge we saw then didn’t happen in any previous year.

The trend for necklaces looks a lot like demand for jewelry as a broad category, with demand taking a sharp hit in the month after lockdowns in 2020, and a quick rebound in the following months. 2021, meanwhile, saw a much larger Mother’s Day bump than any previous year, although demand trailed off significantly through the back to school shopping season when compared to previous years. To close, let’s examine home and kitchen items:

In each of the previous three years, demand for this category hits its high point during the holiday shopping season, but Mother’s Day 2020 saw an interesting change in the typical annual trend.

In the midst of the early pandemic shutdowns and social distancing, home and kitchen items appear to have been a much more in-demand Mother’s Day gift than during a normal year. Perhaps moms and gift-givers alike were all so into their new lockdown hobbies like making the perfect sourdough or getting the home office set up just right that jewelry and flowers felt like they just weren’t going to cut it.

Of course, that trend appears to have been an aberration, with Mother’s Day 2021 receiving no such boost.

A lesson for brands

From our data, it’s clear that major holidays like Mother’s Day can significantly increase demand for flowers and jewelry. Other items do receive some sort of bump, but for most houseware categories, Prime Day and the holidays drive much more demand.

Understanding the factors that influence consumer behavior can help brands better understand how to forecast demand for their products on online marketplaces, and even inform product design and marketing strategy.

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.