It’s February and we’ve got Valentine’s Day and Shrove Tuesday to think about, but small business owners absolutely must have Mother’s Day planned now! It’s only six weeks away and as Mother’s Day is the biggest gift giving occasion in the UK, outside of Christmas – it’s definitely not one to miss. So are all of you wonderful small business owners ready?
You need to plan, prepare, and push Mother’s Day – I’ve pulled together 12 ideas to help you with this.
Before I share my ‘12 ways that you can make the most of Mother’s Day’ I know that you will be very sensitive to your customer’s needs and know that many people find Mother’s Day emotionally loaded and challenging for lots of different reasons. This might make you hesitant about pushing Mother’s Day so why not follow the steps made by bigger retailers? You can give people the option to opt out of your communications – a simple message saying ‘if you would rather not hear about Mother’s Day, then you can click here to opt out’ – this can be very much appreciated.
1. Make space for Mother’s Day offerings
First up, launch your Mother’s Day range on your website AND in your bricks and mortar shops. Carve out dedicated space for your Mother’s Day offerings and ensure they are front and centre. Your customers are generally time poor, and they want obvious offers – it’s easy to assume when you are running a small business selling products that everybody knows what would be a nice Mother’s Day gift – people like, actually need inspiration and nudges when gift shopping so go for it!
Two weeks before your last shipping day for online is the time to go big – your landing page should be solely Mother’s Day messaging and for any physical shops you can keep going right up until the day itself.
2. Bundle gifts
Creating special gift bundles is a really great way of doing the thinking for your customers – clicking on a page that says ‘Mother’s Day’ or ‘Mother’s Day Gifts’ does all the work for them and gift bundles look like a ‘special’ purchase. In particular offering gift sets to those customers who want to spend a bit more provides them with a ready made solution. And don’t forget, gift bundles help to drive up your average transaction value, every customer that comes to your website or comes into your store and buys a gift bundle is spending a little bit more than they might have done – which is exactly what you want for your small business.
3. Gift guides
This is something small businesses should do at Christmas and replicate for Mother’s Day – a gift guide. It’s a great opportunity to talk to your customers about your offer for Mother’s Day, whilst promoting your products. Depending on the size of your range, you could do a gift guide by price point, this can really help your customer easily see what’s on offer within their own spending range.
Remember if you have a small range, you can highlight other small businesses products – you could even collaborate with local businesses – this all supports the message to your customers that by shopping with small businesses all their needs are met.
I love gift guides – they can be used on social media channels, as a blog post – they generate great content for your small business whilst simply highlighting your great products.
Many small businesses offer this service anyway and Mother’s Day is the event to publicises it! If it’s a service you don’t usually offer, could you consider it just for Mother’s Day as a special add on? It’s another great hook to talk about in your emails, on you social media channels and website page.
5. New products
Timing is everything and before Mother’s Day is a great point in the year to launch and promote new products. Lots of retailers will be running a ‘spring focus’ right now and that will definitely morph into a Mother’s Day theme – small businesses should also adopt this thinking – a brand new gift for a number one Mum might be the perfect product for many of your customers.
6. Mum’s the word
Like with any gifting event novelty and themed products are very popular. If you have items simply say ‘Mum’ or point to thanking a special person now is the time to move them to ‘hero’ product status. You might have less overt items – candles, eye mask, dressing gowns, gardening gear – these can all speak directly to people buying for Mother’s Day.
7. Wholesale hello
If you are a small business that wholesales now is the time to look back on orders from last year and your Christmas orders then make contact with your buyers. Let them know if you have stock available for Mother’s Day – check in with your wholesale buyers just like you would with your customers.
Mother’s Day is a great time for your small business to offer a promotion. Upgraded shipping, gift wrapping, hand-written notes – these are all great ways to alleviate your Mother’s Day gift offering whilst making the whole process even easier and more special for your customers.
9. Added extra
Another type of promotion which is ideal for your Mother’s Day shoppers could be a free gift, buy a handbag and get a free hair accessory. I think this type of promotion is low energy input from you at a very busy time but high satisfaction to your customer – it feels like a really special gift.
10. Brown banana
I can’t give you 12 top tips without including the infamous ‘brown banana’ one. Brown bananas are products that have a very specific use by date, and after which nobody wants them just like a brown banana! So if it says “I love my mum” on it – you need to shift those products in the next 6 weeks. Plan your stock meticulously for these items – unless you’re willing and can afford to store unsold products until next year – get them sold – you could offer a discount on these items in the run up to Mother’s Day.
11. Competition time
Giveaways are a great way to excite your customers and they work particularly well for Mother’s Day. You could ask customers to nominate their number one Mum (which people LOVE to do) or to tag their own mother or tag people they know who are great mothers in a social media post. It’s a really lovely, feel-good way for you to connect with our customers and in then showcase the perfect gift for their number one Mum!
12. Gift cards
Promote, promote, promote – gift cards sell well for Mother’s Day. Even if you don’t usually offer them it would be worth considering them for a limited time. It adds extra flexibility for your shopper, you can also prolong the time period that you talk about Mother’s Day in your small business – win win!
That’s my 12. Think about Mother’s Day in just as much detail as you think about Christmas, because it really is one of your biggest opportunities to push those gifting options. We all know people are spending less overall where discretionary spending has been hit by cost of living crisis and we will see a decrease of people buying on a whim or impulse purchasing – BUT – we tend to see that the gifting occasions are somewhat protected, people still want to celebrate the most special people in their lives – sometimes more so in challenging times.