When it comes to the challenges facing retailers around gift-giving holidays, the biggest one around Father’s Day is the growing trend to gift experiences rather than products.
Therefore, retailers need to shift the way they promote the sale of gifts, according to Elaine Kwon, founder of e-commerce management firm Kwontified. This is especially true when looking at the buying habits of millennials, most of whom crave a deeper connection to the brands they support when they shop for Father’s Day gifts.
“In terms of effective promotions, overused tactics like banner ads featuring flowers come off as bland and possibly not genuine,” Kwon told FierceRetail.
So when it comes to marketing around Father’s Day, retailers will need to get personal. New tools for dad will not suffice. Shoppers want specialized gifts with personal invitations.
“For fathers, home improvement and golfing product categories are far from the only gifting options,” she said.
Also, don’t assume today’s consumers fall into traditional gender roles.
“With the legalization of gay marriage, increased awareness about transgendered experiences, and the rise of interracial relationships, the way parenthood (and therefore, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day) is viewed has evolved dramatically over the last several years,” Kwon said. “Being insensitive or ignorant of this development could be detrimental to your marketing and promotional tactics.”
Kwon says that shoppers love the delight of sharing a “cool new brand” as something that makes for a terrific gift. She foresees new brands with cult followings to transition strongly this Father’s Day. For example, she named brands such as Bevel and Dollar Shave Club.
“Both brands would be utilizing the immense popularity they have with the millennial consumer generation for exposure to older demographics,” Kwon said.
On Amazon specifically, Kwon says there are several watch brands who consistently provide terrific online customer experience for Father’s Day. Brands like Shinola have made a splash, and contemporary brands like Akribos XXIV and Citizen have consistently provided strong promotions for the holiday.
Kwon does warn to be wary of how retailer and distributors price products during the holidays. This is especially important with respect to a company’s Amazon business account.
“If you sell wholesale to Amazon, it is very possible that Amazon may discount your items to match the lowest-price offer online. One of the top tenets of growing your business in the digital realm—and especially on Amazon—is to prioritize customer trust. An easy way to imperil that trust is to present a deal price on one platform that is inconsistent with other pricing online. Customers will notice and may turn away from buying your brand entirely if pricing fluctuates beyond a reasonable range,” Kwon added.