Father’s Day Campaigns: What Over 100 Million Sessions Reveal About Gifting Behavior for Dads

Lorraine Ryshin

June 14, 2019 | 4 min read

Last Updated: Mar 11, 2020

Father’s Day is fast approaching, with only a few days left to buy something to show Dad you care, come June 16th. That means Father’s Day campaigns were in full swing from mid-May until these last few days. Much like with Mother’s Day campaigns, we’ve been keeping track of what retailers are doing to boost sales ahead of the special day.

To understand digital gift-buying for dads, we analyzed the behavior of customers interacting with Father’s Day campaigns, including father-themed slideshows, carousels and banners. We included 100 million visitor sessions and 500 million pages in our research, collating behavioral data over the course of four weeks. We focused on campaigns in the apparel, technology, cosmetics and jewelry (particularly watches) fields.

Low Attractiveness on Father’s Day Campaigns

The first conclusion we drew from our analysis is that — sadly for dads — Father’s Day campaigns are less attractive to consumers that Mother’s Day promotions.

Category pages for Father’s Day products, for example, have a significantly lower reach rate than their Mother’s Day counterparts both on desktop (-71%) and mobile (-50%).

Consumers are also much less likely to click on a Father’s Day slideshow than on a Mother’s Day slideshow, judging by the 37% lower click rate. And even if they do click, they’re simply not as willing to make a purchase for their fathers as they are for their moms. In fact, the conversion rate for Father’s Day campaigns slideshows is 68% lower than its Mother’s Day equivalent.

And for retailers running Father’s Day campaigns, the reach rate for these special category pages is 96% lower than the average category page reach rate on desktop and 93% lower on mobile. Meaning, for many consumers, it’s business as usual around Father’s Day.

So how can retailers drum up more interest around these campaigns? Well, with Mother’s Day Campaigns the firm favorite among consumers, why not remind customers shopping for their moms that Father’s Day is just around the corner? You could also offer promo codes for both events jointly, so that the two celebrations can support each other, retail-wise.

Positive Impact on Conversions from Father’s Day Campaigns

But it’s not all doom and gloom. While they’re not commanding as much interest as  Mother’s Day Campaigns, Father’s Day category pages perform pretty well when it comes to conversions. Pages showcasing gifts for dads recorded an average 7.08% conversion rate on desktop — that’s 77% higher than regular category pages. And it’s the same story on mobile, with a 78% higher conversion rate for these special events pages.

Mother’s Day category pages did not perform quite as well compared to regular pages, driving 26% fewer conversions on desktop, and a mere 4% conversion increase on mobile.

There are a few things brands can do to capitalize on this high conversion potential and further optimize the conversion rate of their category pages. Implementing helpful, accurate filters will help shorten the journey to the product. Providing reassurance messaging around fast delivery and shipping options will remove further hesitation from the purchase journey. And ensuring the promo code is easy to submit at checkout adds even more value to the experience and will make your customers happy.

List Pages Cannibalizing Products Pages for a Quick Buy Effect

Desktop visitors spend 51% more time on Father’s Day category pages than on regular category pages. Mobile visitors also linger on these pages, but only 14% more than they do on regular category pages. What’s interesting though is that, despite spending more time on these pages, visitors are also more likely to choose the quick-buy option — 7% more interactions with this feature on desktop, and 10% more on mobile, versus regular category pages.

The scroll rate on Father’s Day pages is 17% lower than on Mother’s Day pages — both on mobile and desktop. And on desktop the activity rate on Father’s Day category pages is 13% lower than on their Mother’s Day counterparts.

What does this tell us? That customers are less inclined to interact with these pages and favor quick paths to purchase. A lengthy stay on these pages suggests these quick-buy options don’t always meet consumer standards.

Adding reassurance elements in the quick buy pop-up along with product and shipping info will cut out unnecessary steps for determined shoppers. Making filters highly visible and helpful will also appeal to rushed consumers as will optimizing the search bar so it displays shortcuts to your Father’s Day gift pages. And finally, simplifying the checkout and adding a guest checkout option will go a long way to converting consumers who simply don’t have the time to sign up for an account or retrieve a lost password.

Visitors Spend Less on Father’s Day Gifts

At the end of the day, we know the question on everyone’s lips: who do consumers spend more on — their dads or their moms? Painful as it may be to hear for some, our analysis of cart averages shows people are more generous when it comes to their mothers.

Father’s Day carts are lower than the average cart by 19% on desktop. The trend is reversed on mobile, but only by a mere 1.16% increase. Comparatively, the average Mother’s Day cart is 84% higher than the average cart on desktop and 63% higher on mobile.

One way to up revenue per buyer is to offer gift sets with higher price tags and a bigger value for customers. These are great ways to inspire slightly less interested customers, by suggesting bundles and gift sets they might not have thought about themselves.

Seizing the Potential of Father’s Day Campaigns

A side by side comparison reveals that, overall, Mother’s Day campaigns perform better than Father’s Day campaigns, save for a few metrics. However, fret not, as the holiday celebrating dads still comes with a wealth of potential to boost your sales. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), the world’s most exhaustive retail association, shoppers are set to spend $16 billion on Father’s Day in 2019 —an all-time high for the holiday.

With the right strategy, underpinned by continuous monitoring of customer engagement and conversions, brands can maximize the potential of their Father’s Day campaigns. The addition of slideshows and banners with Father’s Day gifts on display can be gainful for businesses —the key is to give consumers what they want, i.e. quick gifting suggestions and easy ways to complete purchases.

Father’s Day 2020 is a whole year away, giving brands plenty of time to implement a data-driven strategy that will make customer-centric optimizations child’s play.