Do People Spend More Money on Father's Day or Mother's Day?

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Every year, there is a battle between Mother's Day and Father's Day on which day consumers will spend the most money. Unfortunately, this battle is still one-sided with Mother's Day being the clear winner each year.

Even though each passing year Father's Day sees growth, Mother's Day also sees far more growth.

Data from the National Retail Federation (NRF) projects that consumer spending on Mother's Day to reach $25 billion. This projection marks a near 8.5-percent increase growth compared to the NRF's projection of $23.1 billion in 2018.

On the other hand, the NRF's projection for consumer spending on Father's Day in 2018 was only $15.3 billion. But there are some important reasons that explain why this phenomenon occurs year-after-year. Here's what you should know:

1. More Sales Options and Discounts on Various Goods

Data from the NRF indicates that the various sales options on a wide selection of products can explain the high consumer spending on Mother's Day compared to Father's Day. Consumers will notice the endless amount of sales to choose from on Mother's Day, which can include steep discounts of jewelry, makeup, handbags and shoes.

While Father's Day sales also offer a variety of discounts, the discounts aren't as steep for the same goods or product categories for Mother's Day sales.

For example, some retailers may offer discounts on accessories on Father's Day. However, these discounts are often skewed towards watches. However, retailers may extend the sales discounts to all accessories, including jewelry, for their Mother's Day sales even though they sell these products in the same store.

It's also not hard to find Father's Day sales that offer special pricing for electronics, such as computers and computer parts. Yet, retailers don't always extend these discounts to other product categories or at the high percentage discounts you may recognize on Mother's Day sales, such as kitchen appliances and small electronics.

2. Guilt Plays a Role

According to a DealNews survey, 46 percent of consumers made plans to purchase a gift for their mothers compared to only 30 percent who planned to buy gifts for their fathers.

The survey further also indicated a wide gap between consumer spending on single mothers compared to single fathers. The gap widens even further for married couples as mothers have a higher chance of receiving a Mother's Day gift than fathers getting a Father's Day gift.

The survey also revealed another interesting find: over 60 percent of sons feel obligated to buy their mothers a gift.

Thus, the feeling of guilt may play a role in higher consumer spending on Mother's Day than on Father's Day.

3. Shifting Sales Trends

Over a decade ago you would rarely see a sale on TVs or computers on Mother's Day. But that is no longer the case as even companies like Microsoft are slashing prices off of their product offerings. Whether that's $600 off tablets and deeply-discounted computers, these heavily discounted sales are helping to catapult Mother's Day consumer spending.

For instance, the popular computer online store Newegg often offers steep discounts on a wide variety of headphones, smartwatches and a slew of other products. This is mainly due to more mothers according to a survey is very tech savvy which in the old days was more portrayed to be the father.

4. Mother's Day Gets a Head Start

Another concept that may explain consumers' focus on spending more on Mother's Day than Father's Day is that they have had more exposure to the holiday.

In 1908, Mother's Day was created in the United States while the creation of Father's Day followed behind in 1910. The U.S. government recognized Mother's Day in 1913.

But the recognition of Mother's Day as a holiday exceeds the recognition of Father's Day by 50 years. It wasn't until later in 1972 that the U.S. government recognized Father's Day.

Thus, U.S. consumers have had a longer time celebrating Mother's Day. Other countries adopted Mother's Day as a holiday. But similar to the United States, these countries took decades to recognize Father's Day.

5. Father's Day Still Brings Opportunities

While consumers tend to spend less on Father's Day than they do on Mother's Day, e-commerce companies still can take advantage of the growth opportunities Father's Day brings.

While the NRF estimated consumers' Father's Day expenditures to reach over 15.3 billion in 2018, the projections were $9.6 billion just a decade prior. The projections have also shown a steady increase over the years since 2009, with the exception of 2014. Thus, growth opportunities for Father's Day sales do exist.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to identifying the champ of Mother's Day versus Father's Day spending, Mother's Day is the clear winner each year and continues to grow. But retailers also understand that Father's Day is also another big day since consumer spending is growing for this holiday, too.

That's why it's still important to consider Father's Day in your sales strategy for your e-commerce store when promoting products during the month of June. You can offer special deals, discounts or simply highlight popular Father's Day products, services or experiences.

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