Earlier start for Father’s Day searches

May 30, 2012 by Experian Marketing Services

It’s not too early to turn up your Father’s Day Marketing efforts. Mother’s Day still rules over Father’s Day when it comes to search volume. But, when consumers are looking for gifts for Dear Old Dad, they start earlier. Father’s Day searches start to increase as far out as 6 weeks before the holiday, indicating consumers get a much earlier jump on gift buying as compared with Mother’s Day.

Although the holiday is still 4 weeks away, Experian Hitwise data shows that consumers are already going online with dad in mind, as search term variations for Father’s Day have steadily risen since April 14th, and increased 125% week over week.

Source: Experian Hitwise

Data from Experian CheetahMail supports the ‘start early’ insight.  The two weeks prior to Father’s day represent the highest email  volume and revenue for the holiday.  For Mother’s Day, peak mailing volume and sales occur one week before the actual holiday. One hypothesis around the different shopping behavior is that the difference in timing is driven by who is doing the shopping. For Mother’s Day, men are more likely to be doing last minute shopping to buy flowers and gifts for their wives and moms, while for Father’s Day the women are purchasing gifts for husbands and dads.  Women may more typically plan ahead, and make their purchases sooner which would, in part, explain the difference in the search behavior.

Source: Experian CheetahMail

Whatever the reason, consumers are in-market and looking for that perfect Father’s Day gift.

Among the top keywords being searched around Father’s Day, “gifts” accounted for 11% of search clicks and had the highest paid rate, as of May 19, 2012.   This represents a 36% increase in paid search clicks for the term “gifts” versus the same week last year, suggesting heavier competition in 2012 for paid traffic from these keywords .

Searches for  variations of “gifts” are also on the rise.  Clicks for “fathers day gifts” saw a 76% increase during the most recent 4 rolling week time period versus the same period in 2011.  “Cheap father’s day gifts”, “father’s day gifts from preschoolers” and “fathers day church gifts” emerged as new variations this year.

Source: Experian Hitwise

Gifts.com and PersonalizationMall, both of which specialize in personalized items are among the top sites that received traffic from Father’s Day “gift” variations during the 4 rolling weeks ending May 19th and both sites were also top recipients of Father’s Day search traffic last year.   UncommonGoods.com, a site that offers unique and creative gifts, and two Christian-themed websites round out the list of the top five sites that received  traffic from the portfolio of Father’s Day “gift” terms.