Knot Another Tie

6/17/2009 06:48:00 PM


There is good news for clothing retailers this Father’s Day season. American consumers expect to spend close to $1.3 billion on clothing out of a total $9.4 billion. Of that $1.3 billion, an impressive 20% is expected to be spent online. [1] The old standbys, socks, neckties, and belts, will remain popular, as will gift cards.

So while dad may not need another tie, it looks like that’s exactly what dad’s going to receive. That said, online retailers can think creatively in the final push. What is it that dads would like to receive and families can afford to purchase? What should online retailers be doing to encourage these purchases?

Many have discussed the possibility of family members purchasing gifts that can be used by the entire family: grills, tents, and luggage. Others think that given the economy the past nine months, dads deserve to be pampered with more luxurious personal care products like high-end shaving creams and razors. In fact, the demand for men’s beauty products has grown over the past years [2] but some men still feel uncomfortable purchasing those products for themselves. This leads to increased online sales from the privacy of their own homes, in fact, online sales of cosmetics and fragrances will grow by nearly 67% between 2008 and 2012. [3]

Keep in mind that the main purchasers of Father’s Day gifts are wives and children, each bringing a different budget to the table. Both are interested in sales and coupons and will benefit from clear ‘Order By for Father’s Day Delivery’ dates on the website. For websites with accompanying brick and mortar stores, don’t forget to push last minute in-store purchases through coupons available on your website. Use text ads to highlight ‘In Store Pickup’ or ‘In Store Coupon Available’ as we pass the final ship-by dates.

In 2008, Father’s Day fell on June 15th. As the data below shows, searches for “father’s day gifts” began to rise about four weeks before the holiday. Searches on this term then hit their peak on June 14th, and although consumers may not have purchased items online, they reviewed products and sales on the internet and then headed to the nearest retail store. As an advertiser you must be thinking, “If my consumers can no longer purchase online in time for Father’s Day, how I can attract them to my store?” Again, use what’s been working all year: coupon codes and special promotions. Once the gift is chosen, the consumer is still going to want to find the best price, so make sure your ad emphasizes any current in-store deals. This is a great time to update your Local Business Ads to reflect that as well.

In addition, Father’s Day is later this year, which means consumers are thinking ‘summer’ more than they have in the past. Timing is right for bathing suits and sports apparel like golf shirts, running shorts, and flip flops. As we’ve seen in years past, the online activity peaks on Father’s Day but continues for a few days afterwards. There will always be the last minute and forgetful shoppers, so it’s important to be “on” through the very end.

We all know dads have been working hard, which means they deserve the cards and presents more than ever. Happy Father’s Day!

[1] “Tough Economy Brings More of the Same for Dad: Ties, Gift Cards and Lots of Love,” NRF, June, 2009.
[2] “Marketing to Men: Opportunities for Growth in the Grooming Market,”, April, 2008
[3] “Outlook for E-Commerce in 2008 and Beyond,” Forrester Research, February, 2008


Lisa said...

some other websites are also giving awesome coupons on gifts and gift ideas for this fathers day at