Memorable dates are always big business for retailers — remember the well-known slogan ‘It’s a Hallmark Holiday’? That catchphrase was coined for dates in the calendar that were perceived to exist primarily for commercial purposes, rather than to commemorate a traditionally or historically significant event.
Well, retailing is about selling after all, so savvy retailers need to use this opportunity to attract shoppers who want to buy something special to show their dad that they care.
In 2014 it was estimated that Father’s Day was worth £200 million to the UK commerce industry — and this figure is likely to rise again this year.
How then can you capitalise on it? Here are some tips to make the most of Father’s Day.
1. Start early
The secret to promotional selling is timing. According to dotmailer, customers who shopped in early June for Father’s Day gifts spent on average 20% more on items than panic buyers bought in the week leading up to the big day.
You need to be mindful and start the prep work early. Contact your customer database and let them know about your ideas and if you have any offers.
The most Googled phrase around Father’s Day is ‘When is Father’s Day’ — so letting your customers know is a perfect prompt.
That said, there will still be a lot of customers who leave purchasing to the last minute, so keep the sales messages coming.
2. Get your timing right
According to the experts, 4-5 days before the date is the best time to target, so June 15 or 16 seems like the optimal time to get in touch with your customers.
3. Simplify your delivery options
Make sure that your delivery options are as straightforward as possible and explain the details in simple, easily understood language.
Do you offer next-day delivery, click & collect or other convenient services? Nobody wants to arrive at their dad’s house with an empty gift bag!
4. Get personal
Many of us don’t have a clear idea for a present — we are looking for inspiration. With this in mind, you need to be creative in your approach — socks, a mug or sweets might make great filler presents, but golf clubs in his favourite colour, a personalised sports kit for his favourite team or customised jewellery is much more appealing.
Don’t just take my word for it; according to Mintel, only 3% of surveyed UK shoppers chose gift cards. A much higher percentage of search traffic was for personalised gifts, gadgets and homemade gifts, so says Experian.
5. Think about types of dad
Think about the different types of dads out there — is he cool dad, gadget dad, fun dad, sporty dad or fashion-conscious dad?
When you think of the options, group your products together to make it easy for shoppers to shop with that in mind. Highlight these groups on your site or if you are promoting the images on Facebook — when we know who our dad is then we want to buy products to suit his style.
6. Use social media
Run a competition to tweet a selfie with your dad in his new sweater/bag/jacket and be in with a chance of winning follow up money off vouchers.
Give your brand added personality by including some pictures of the dads in your office on your social media channels. Highlight what products the dads would like to receive as gifts.
7. Think mobile
As most of us check our phones when we are at lunch, on public transport or anywhere on the go, make sure that you optimise your mobile site to make the customer experience better and to maximise opportunities to sell.
Celebrate Father’s Day
Remember, if you are in a market that sells ‘dad-friendly’ products then this is a celebration for you too. Make the most of Father’s Day.