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Father’s Day is just around the corner again! Whether you're a dad yourself, have a dad in your life, or are actually really pro-moms (it's not a contest!), Father's Day marketing opportunities shouldn't be ignored if you run an e-commerce business.
As you might know, Father's Day is not the same in every country, but most of the world tends to celebrate it on the third Sunday in June. In 2023, Father's Day falls on Sunday, June 18th in the UK, US, and South Africa (More on the different days below).
With all that in mind, it’s time for business owners around the world to start thinking about promotions and sales for Father's Day. In today’s blog, we'll have a look at what small businesses can do to boost their sales for the upcoming holiday.
As was mentioned in the intro, Father's Day is not the same across Europe (or the world for that matter). If you're a Father's Day consumer, you probably only care about when Father's Day is in the country where that special dad lives.
However, as a shop owner, you should consider when the holiday takes place in all of your main markets.
Much of Europe (e.g. Italy and Spain) celebrates the holiday in March. In Germany, it falls in late-May. If you market for Father's Day, make note of that for the future. Here is a link to the Wikipedia page for Father's Day for reference.
Before we get to the advice, I wanted to share an interesting statistic that I came across about Father's Day in the UK.
According to Statista, Britons spend a lot of money on Father's Day! As the chart below shows, that number had been slowly inching towards £1 billion mark for the last few years!
The numbers took an understandable downturn in 2020 with the coronavirus, but shot right back up in 2021 to an impressive £951 million. 2022 saw numbers hit nearly £1 billion - 2023 might the year where dads see the most love yet!
So, what's the obvious conclusion? Britons clearly love their dads! If nearly £1 billion annual retail spend is not reason enough for you to realise the potential of Father's Day, then I don't know what is!
To really drive this point home, I'd like to show you one more chart about Father's Day in the UK.
This one gives you some insights into the Father's Day shoppers' mentality regarding the holiday. The survey compares the opinions of UK shoppers in 2017 and 2018. Keep in mind, of course, the huge bump in spending we saw in the last few years. Now, have a look:
Look closely. Every single answer here showed a higher level of agreement in 2018 compared to 2017. To me, this shows that UK consumers have a more favourable opinion of Father's Day with each passing year. By 2023, these numbers are likely to look even more favourable for dads.
Moreover, it shows that UK shoppers have stronger intentions to make purchases with for their dads as the holiday takes on more significance.
Father's Day is not just popular in the US and the UK. Fathers are celebrated across Europe! Here is a look at what Italians who intended to buy a present for Father's Day were planning to spend. Father's Day is obviously relevant to people with all kinds of budgets:
If we take a look at the most popular Father's Day gifts in the Netherlands, we see some of the typical dad gifts as well (e.g. food, gardening, books, etc.)... Some things never change, but it does confirm the fact that Father's Day marketing opportunities exist for many industries (in many markets).
Here's one last European market we can look at. French consumers were asked about where they shop for Father's Day (and Mother's Day).
While many consumers still go the old-fashioned route, the numbers show that online shopping is slowly becoming the number one option:
Now, that you know the "why", let's look at the "how". Without further ado, here are our Father's Day marketing tips:
You don't have to be a kid to appreciate your dad!
If you’re new to running an online shop, I've got some good general advice for you: you’ll want to plan all your website’s annual sales way ahead of time.
Not only does this help you avoid all that last-minute planning and adjustments, but it gives you a chance to promote your sale early enough to catch those non-procrastinating shoppers (don’t look at me) and get them in your shop.
Besides, some people unintentionally rely on marketing to remind them that the holiday is coming up: you're essentially doing a public service for many of us when you run holiday-based ads (thank you!).
Remember, shop owners have got the famous "summer slump" to deal with, so if your site is up and your marketing is ready weeks before the big day, you’ll be able to make the most of this sale, which happens to occur during a relatively slow shopping period (depending on when it is celebrated in each relevant market).
So, what can you do to prepare? Here's some fatherly advice: Plan out your strategy ahead of time.
Do you want to create a special banner at the top of your page? Who will design it? Will you advertise the sale through Facebook and/or Google? If so, will you have a special landing page where ad-clickers will be sent?
Many of these things take time to create and to implement, so it’s best to get started a few months ahead of time.
Offering a simple discount for Father’s Day might be enough to catch a few people’s attention. Going one step further, you might want to consider having a giveaway of the “top dad products”.
Taking it one more step further, you should definitely consider having a social media contest. Why? Customer Engagement – that’s why.
This can be accomplished by having customers interact with your brand in some way... and social media is the perfect tool to do just that.
You could, for example, encourage them to share their “favourite dad moment”, “dad image”, or even “dad joke” in a social media contest. Remember to think of a clever #hashtag, associate it with the campaign, and get them to use it in their posts (e.g. #mydadiscoolerthanyourdad). Also, encourage them to share the post with their own followers.
"Oh, here’s another good one: How do you make an octopus laugh? With ten-tickles."
With a social media contest, you’ll not only be getting them to engage more with your brand and share the contest with their friends, but you’ll also be creating an emotional connection to your brand.
Social media doesn't have to be limited to contests in order to inspire your followers to shop for dad's big day. It can be a great way of subtly reminding them of the upcoming holiday as well.
If your reviews provider lets you filter your reviews, you can share some reviews that mention "dad".
Then give your review a visual boost and share them on social media.
(Background image source: Shutterstock/Mikael Damkier)
Learn more about the Trusted Shops Social Media creator:
If I'm being totally honest, my dad has always been harder to shop for than my mom. Usually, moms are happy enough just getting some flowers and/or chocolate. Dad’s can be a bit more of a challenge though (If you have a dad-equivalent to flowers and chocolate, please let me know).
Remember how we touched on creating specific landing pages for your ads in tip #1?
Well, by creating a “gift guide” on your website, you can help your customers find the perfect gift for the dad(s) in their lives. By segmenting all the different kinds of dads out there (e.g. “sports fan dad”, “handy dad”, “dad-joke dad”, etc.), you’re actually doing a great service for your shoppers (thanks again!).
Besides hobbies, don't forget that some people celebrate this big day for multiple "dads". Think of father-in-laws, grand-dads, step-fathers, son-in-laws. You might even want to make categories for those kinds of dads in our lives (more on this in the next section).
These kinds of guides can inspire people quickly, so put your best (i.e. most popular) products at the top of the page. Before you know it, they'll be right on your product pages.
If you're confused by what you should stock up on, Statista released some survey results about what UK dads like to receive for Father's Day:
Would you look at that? It seems that dads aren't so complicated to shop for after all! Apparently, dads like getting cards, drinking beer, and eating food! Go figure!
Speaking of gift guides, you can also promote “dad bundles” for your Father’s Day promotion. Bundle a few products together and sell them as such.
Sure, it’s not a ground-breaking idea (it's not too far off from a cross-selling strategy), but if you highlight the shoppers' savings (i.e. Save £10 when you buy these two products together), it's a great way to promote the products while also getting rid of some surplus inventory at the same time.
Some dads love to cook (and/or bake)! Inspire your shoppers to buy him some new kitchen appliances and spend some quality time together. (Shutterstock/LightField Studios)
This is another general piece of advice, but it works together with all the suggestions mentioned above. Since Father’s Day shoppers are not only children, you might want to try segmenting your ads for all your audiences.
For example, you can target teenagers for some ads, moms/wives for others, and even adults who are buying gifts for their (older) dads. In fact, this is a great opportunity to sell to people who aren't normally your target group.
By knowing who you’re marketing to for this particular campaign, you can customise your ads to fit these different target audiences with different images and texts. This is called micro-targeting.
It’s also worth knowing which apps these target groups use. Although Instagram and Snapchat are used more by younger audiences, Pinterest is used more by the “mom” demographic, so your targeting and messaging should match the audience that will be seeing them.
You might consider segmenting your landing pages to fit your audiences as well. Before, we mentioned that you could create landing pages based on dad-habits. Conversely, you could create landing pages based on who is shopping. Teenagers might have a smaller budget or a different gift in mind than a wife or mother-in-law, etc.
Do you know who your customer is? Build a buyer persona!
Okay, you've got the promotions planned and the ads running. Traffic has increased, but you’ve noticed that despite getting a lot of new visitors, your conversions are lacking.
This could very well be a sign that your website lacks “trust” elements. You might want to consider getting a product reviews platform for your site, so that your best customers can be advocates for your shop.
Other trust elements (e.g. trustmarks) can also help boost conversions for new site visitors.
Once it is recognised that a user is about to leave the website, the pop-up will show up offering an extra discount. By offering an extra 5% discount (or whatever you choose) and reminding them that Father's Day is coming up(!), you might be surprised by how many people will decide to give your shop a second chance after all.
Planning website changes and your marketing efforts is definitely a bit of effort, but getting ready for Father’s Day well in advance can pay off if you do it right. Not only is it a great way to sell products, but it’s an opportunity for you to engage with your customers (and vice versa) and start building up a relationship with them.
Remember, many holidays fall on different days in different countries. If you sell and/or run marketing campaigns in other countries, make sure to check out our Holidays Calendar, designed to give you an overview of the biggest e-commerce opportunities in Europe's biggest markets. Just click below: