Retailers are often in a position to save the day – especially on Mother’s Day. This year, even the people with great intentions of honoring the leading ladies in their lives might need a helping hand. As customers start thinking about the upcoming holiday, retailers can help ease the shopping journey.
What Will Mother’s Day 2021 Look Like?
According to a recent Waze survey, 60% of respondents say they typically celebrate Mother’s Day, but nearly half say their plans will be different this year. Retailers have the unique opportunity to step in and help people create new – but equally special – traditions.
Here are four ways merchants can help customers find ideal Mother’s Day solutions:
1. Spotlight gift ideas for all types of mother figures
Turns out that Mother’s Day is about more than the quintessential Mom. In fact, 54% of respondents say they plan to honor the traditional mother/step mother/mother-in-law trio; 34% will treat themselves (as well they should!); and 31% will celebrate their spouse, partner or girlfriend.
By acknowledging that shoppers might have multiple recipients, retailers can ease the path to purchase by saving shoppers steps. To encourage in-person visits, retailers should offer special in-store-only deals, such as discounts or gifts with purchase, for all mother figures shoppers are honoring.
2. Put shoppers at ease
While many consumers prefer in-person shopping, they are likely increasingly wary of safety protocols. Retailers need to double down on communication to spotlight ways they are keeping guests safe, such as enhanced sanitation practices, limited capacity or personal shopping by appointment.
Offering online ordering and curbside pickup is another way to engage customers who are reluctant to enter the store. “Retailers tell us that understanding and adapting to their customers’ needs has allowed them to be successful,” says Waze’s Jeff Kohl. “We're trying to play a complementary role with always-on awareness about curbside pickup or a contactless experience.”
“As users drive by and engage, they know this location is a safe place where that retailer is meeting their needs,” Kohl says.
Many find curbside preferable since deliveries can be delayed – a scenario which could easily jeopardize Mother’s Day plans. In fact, 40% of consumers reported issues with a retailer’s website when ordering online. Meanwhile, on Waze, the share of navigations to businesses with curbside pickup jumped 11%.
3. Help consumers get creative in the kitchen
Given that many restaurants still have limited indoor dining, a number of people will rely on their culinary skills, as reflected in the 39% who say they intend to cook a meal at home.
These days no one wants to linger in the grocery store aisles hunting for an obscure spice or waffling over what to bake for dessert. Grocers can help ease Mother’s Day menu planning dilemmas with suggestions for easy gourmet food options, shopping lists, even dedicated stations where shoppers can assemble recipe ingredients.
Alternatively, grocers can do the cooking for their customers to bring home. Those with ample kitchen space can offer pre-prepared “heat and eat” meals to take all the stress off the cook or host. And by offering fancy party goods to go with the entrees, grocers can promise a celebration free of hassle.
4. Partner with other local retailers
Waze research shows that 84% of shoppers try to make the most out of a shopping run by visiting multiple retailers at once. Many consumers turn to the mall as their opportunity to cross several stops off their list at once. So retailers with a standalone location may need to go that extra mile to attract local traffic, and there’s strength in numbers.
One strategy is to join forces with local florists, jewelry stores or home goods stores to cross-promote offerings and discounts – similar to how many merchants team up on Small Business Saturday.
“The world has forced us to plan a lot more,” notes Waze’s Head of Sales Andrew Kandel. “We used to go to the grocery store or a mall and make other stops along the way, but people no longer shop that way. Now they have a shopping list and know where they're going.”
Retailers can employ social media, email newsletters, digital advertising and other marketing vehicles to promote compelling promotions that land them a coveted spot on shoppers’ list.
Let Waze Bring Shoppers To Your Doors
For Mother’s Day and throughout the spring season, Waze has the solutions retailers need to attract on-the-go consumers.
A Waze Takeover ad, Pin, or pre-drive suggestion can help move retail establishments to the top of shoppers’ lists. “We strive to highlight the importance of building awareness of specific sales moments or events and urge retailers to switch around their messaging to spotlight what they offer,” says Kohl. “Your creative can help play a key role in the funnel to show people how they can solve their shopping challenges while they are out and about.”
 Google Consumer Survey, January 2021
 Waze Data, US, January/February 2020 vs. November/December 2020
 Google Consumer Survey, January, 2021
 The On-the-Go Retail Consumer and How Digital Out-of-Home Influences Decision Making, Egg Strategy, 2019