Mothers can be big business. Take for instance the results of the Mother's Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, which showed that the average person buying a Mother's Day gift this year was projected to spend around $127. On top of that, the National Retail Federation said Mother's Day is the second largest holiday in terms of U.S. consumer spending behind the combination of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza.
Even better information for online retailers: Internet Retailer reported last April that "shoppers are more likely to use the web to shop for Mother's Day than Father's Day," according to a Javelin Strategy & Research study on behalf of online payment processor eBillme.com.
So, what can you -- the small or independent online retailer -- do to tap the shopping frenzy that's expected between now and May 8? Here are five tips to consider:
Optimize the entry: Keep in mind that shoppers will reach your website from lots of different angles, not just your homepage. As a result, each page should be optimized with Mother's Day-related offers and calls to action.
Incorporate video: Consumers generally appreciate video, and nowadays you don't need to be an Academy award-winning director to produce a great video. It's still early enough to order three or four items you think will sell well this Mother's Day and create two-minute video overviews of each to post on your website or online store.
Spread the word. If you own or operate a restaurant, Mother's Day is prime promoting time for you, also. Now's the time to put the word out on line that you're accepting Mother's Day reservations, and while you're at it, offer to reserve a seat for dad in June.
Promote Father's Day: Chances are that not everyone will find what they want while visiting your online store. But don't let them leave empty-handed. Even though Father's Day is still two months away, ask your customers for email address and suggestions for what they'd like to see you carry for Father's Day. Let them know that if they give you this info, you'll send them a discount code for when they come back to shop for Father's day.
Bundle items for Mom and Dad: Offering bundled items -- one for the gift giver to give to mom in May, and one for Dad in June -- can save your customers a significant amount of time, and money and create a memorable shopping experience along the way.
Offer insurance: If you're handling shipping instead of drop-shipping, offer to insure the items you sell. This will help give your customers some piece of mind, and they'll most likely appreciate and remember your gesture.
What tips would you add to help bolster online sales during big retail holidays like Mother's Day?
Mikal E. Belicove is a market positioning, social media, and management consultant specializing in website usability and business blogging. His latest book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Facebook, is now available at bookstores. For more information, visit MikalBelicove.com.