RealTime IT News

Mother's Day a Hit With Online Shoppers

Mother's Day was an e-tailer's dream as shoppers went online in droves and spent an estimated $190 million on everything from cards and flowers to books and videos.

That compared to a paltry $14 million in estimated sales for Mother's Day 1999, according to merchant rating and marketplace site BizRate.com. In fact, the estimated final tally was more than twice the nearly $80 million predicted by the company.

The company said that sales were bolstered because online merchants spent heavily on television and online advertising campaigns, as well as e-mail marketing campaigns.

Orders totaled "an incredible 2.9 million, up from 250,000 last year," BizRate said. The average purchase amount grew almost 20 percent to $66 this year.

So who was buying for Mom online this year? It was a 50/50 split between men and women, compared to 1999 when men (61 percent) greatly outnumbered women (39 percent) with online orders for Mother's Day.

Other key findings:

  • 92 percent of Mother's Day purchases were made by experienced Web buyers
  • 67 percent of purchases were made by online buyers who were making their first purchase from a particular online merchant
  • A large majority of those first-time customers, almost 90 percent, were already experienced online buyers
  • Mothers received 49 percent of gifts purchased online, followed by mothers-in-law (16 percent) and spouses/significant others (13 percent)
  • And it may be a digital age, but the traditional gift of flowers topped the gift list at 29 percent, followed by e-greeting cards (17 percent) and entertainment products (books/music/videos/tickets) at 13 percent

With each major gift-buying holiday, "the phenomenal growth of e-commerce is reinforced," BizRate said. Experienced Web buyers are flocking to e-retailers for holiday gifts, and continue to make first purchases from different online merchants, expanding e-commerce even further.

BizRate.com operates a marketplace, governed by customer ratings, linking online buyers to leading online merchants. Its proprietary customer ratings form the backbone of the marketplace. The operation collects direct customer feedback and transactional information at the point of purchase at more than 4,000 online stores.