Fortunately for many of us, spring has sprung. In some parts of the world we are seeing the first roses of the season. And in other parts of the world the fall colors are nearing their peak performance. Whether or not you live in the northern or southern hemisphere, later this month Mother’s Day will be celebrated in some 80-plus countries around the world. As a son, and as a husband of a mother, Mother’s Day is rightfully celebrated and it is certainly appreciated that Anna Jarvis began this tradition some 105 years ago. Many cynics in America consider Mother’s Day a “Hallmark Holiday” in reference to the global maker of greeting cards. Interestingly, Jarvis, who began the movement to recognize mothers here in the US was already disappointed by the overcommercialization of the day as far back as 1912. Around the world, the day is marked by the sharing of cards and candy and often, as is the tradition in New Zealand, by delivering breakfast in bed.
In the US, the day has certainly taken on a more commercial feel than in many places around the world, as do so many of the holidays – both religious and secular. Nevertheless, during the next two weeks, the children of mothers will assault the local stores and shops to find Mom that perfect gift. If they so happen to use their smartphone or tablet – and the data suggests more and more will turn to their mobile devices this year for gift-buying – they’re likely to run into many disappointing digital shopping experiences.
As this month’s infographic from vSplash shows, the stores where that “perfect” gift is likely to be found, will be hard to find online. On average, 75% of independent retail stores will be difficult to find online. The only outlier is florists, and this is not surprising, since many of the national buying networks – think FTD – have invested heavily to have their local distribution points be digitally visible. Taken together, improving the online experience of these shops and stores is estimated to be nearly a $3B market opportunity.
Oh, and one last thing, don’t forget to call you mother on Mother’s Day – she’s been there for you through thick and thin. I know I will.