Father Knows Best: A Data-Backed Father’s Day Strategy for Online Sellers

Father's Day strategy

Father knows best… create your promotional strategy for dad’s day using these data-backed tips and tricks for getting more sales!

There are more than 70 million dads in the U.S. and their loved ones are about to open their wallets to show ‘em some love on Father’s Day. With all that spending on the horizon, there’s no time like the present to build your Father’s Day strategy.

Before you get too excited for a big payday, we should point out that dads kind of get the short end of the Hallmark Holidays stick.

Americans spend about $23.1 billion on Mother’s Day, making it the third-largest retail season behind Christmas and back-to-school.

And Father’s Day? Try $15.5 billion.

To be fair, moms probably earned that higher billing. But let’s give it up for dads too!

Last May, the National Retail Federation surveyed 7,335 U.S. consumers about their Father’s Day shopping plans. We dug into the results and found these takeaways that should shape your Father’s Day strategy.

Who Is Getting all These Father’s Day Gifts?

Dads are loved by more people in their lives than just their sons and daughters.

Check out these stats:

  • 54% of consumers buy Father’s Day gifts for their own dads or stepdads
  • 29% shop for their husbands
  • 10% shop for their sons

Father’s Day strategy tip: Dads are receiving the gifts but anyone who knows a dad is a potential buyer. Even if your email subscribers and social followers are mostly women, you can sell them Father’s Day gifts. Just make sure you have something for men to sell! Speaking of which…

What Are the Most Popular Father’s Day Gifts?

Father’s Day isn’t all just tacky ties and baseball tickets.

These were the most popular categories of Father’s Day gifts in the survey:

  • 64.3% of consumers shop for greeting cards
  • 48% shop for special outings (ahem, baseball tickets)
  • 46.1% shop for apparel (and there’s your tacky ties)
  • 42.6% shop for gift cards
  • 23.9% shop for books or CDs
  • 21.2% shop for consumer electronics
  • 20.9% shop for bath and body products (like cologne)
  • 16.7% shop for sporting goods
  • 16.3% shop for tools or appliances
  • 16.2% shop for home and garden supplies
  • 16.1% shop for automotive accessories

Father’s Day strategy tip: Some of these gift categories probably aren’t available in your online shop. Few of us own baseball teams, right? However, here are category specific tips for selling apparel, bath and body, and home and garden to dads or anyone.  

What Are the Most Lucrative Father’s Day Gift Categories?

Father’s Day cards are popular. They’re also cheap.

The real money is being spent in the following categories:

  • $3.3 billion on special outings
  • $2.2 billion on gift cards
  • $2.2 billion on apparel
  • $1.8 billion on consumer electronics
  • $888 million on bath and body
  • $885 million on home and garden

Father’s Day strategy tip: Men are notoriously difficult to shop for. Maybe that’s why ties became a thing. So, don’t sleep on that gift-card category. People love to shift gift-buying responsibility to the recipient!

Where Does Father’s Day Shopping Take Place?

For whatever reason, local small business is at a huge disadvantage during the Father’s Day season.

  • 40% of consumers shop at department stores
  • 34% shop online
  • 26% shop at discount stores
  • 24% shop at specialty stores
  • 19% at a local small business (ouch!)

Father’s Day strategy tip: Focus your Father’s Day strategy on your online shop. Emails and social media posts leading to unique Father’s Day gifts or to the men’s section of your ecommerce store are critical to getting in on the Father’s Day action.

Wanna get tactical? Check out these Father’s Day marketing ideas including gift bundling tips, sample email subject lines, and more.

What’s your Father’s Day strategy this year?

About the Author

Matt Simpson

Matt is a freelance writer for The DRIVE blog with expertise in digital marketing, social media, and copywriting. He's active in the #yesphx startup movement and has been recognized by AdWeek, Mashable, and more for digital innovation. Visit Matt's website or follow Matt on Twitter.

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