What Gift You Can Expect on Mother’s Day Based on How Old Your Kids Are

Like 85% of Americans, you may have been shopping for Mother’s Day gifts recently. Mother’s Day is the third largest retail holiday in the United States and shoppers are expected to set new records for gift giving in 2017. Last month, the National Retail Federation (NRF) forecasted $23.6B in spending for Mother’s Day, up 10% from last year and more than 57% from 2007.

If you are a mom, you may be admiring the beautiful bracelet you got last year, and wondering how your family can top themselves this coming Sunday. This year, Viant’s going to let you in on what you can really expect. We took a look at what gifts moms received in 2016, leveraging data from the Viant Advertising Cloud, which includes 250 million people in the U.S.

The key takeaway: If your kids are younger (ages 0-12), expect better, more expensive gifts. And if you have teenagers at home, they will likely opt for more affordable Mother’s Day staples, like flowers.

In homes with young children, it’s likely that spouses or partners are paying for Mother’s Day presents – rather than kids – and can afford to shower moms with expensive jewelry. Indeed, a recent NRF study found that 23% of Mother’s Day shoppers are buying gifts for their wives, rather than their moms.

We found families with kids under 12 were about 45% more likely to shop at Kay than adult children, while families with teenagers were just 31% more likely to shop there.

In examining spending at Kay Jewelers and 1-800 Flowers, we found that until the age of ten, families with children are not much more likely to buy Mother’s Day gifts at 1-800-Flowers.com than adult children who do not have kids of their own. We also found that families with kids 10-15 years old are about 25% more likely to buy flowers, with that percentage growing to 55% for families with kids 16-18.


There are a few other interesting trends we noticed around jewelry and flower shopping, beyond the Mother’s Day retail season. Families with kids spend roughly $35 – $40 less on average at Kay Jewelers than adults without kids. This is most likely due to the fact that people without children at home can afford to spend more on jewelry. Adults without kids are also more likely to purchase very expensive jewelry items, such as engagement rings.

Outside of the Mother’s Day retail season, families with 16-18 year olds are 30% more likely to buy flowers than younger families and adults without kids. This boom can probably be attributed to events like graduation, prom, and other high school and college activities around this time of year.

Knowing these shopping trends is also useful for brands as they look to better target their advertising around key retail holidays. NRF’s report found that shoppers are receptive to online advertising, with 17% indicating that online advertising is the factor most likely to influence their Mother’s Day purchases –higher than all other advertising channels combined.

In addition to this, understanding that moms are increasingly more likely to get flowers instead of jewelry as their kids grow up can help set women’s expectations across the country on May 14th ;).

Happy Mother’s Day Everyone!

  • #digital advertising
  • #holiday shopping
  • #mother's day
  • #retail insights
  • #retail spending
  • #viant advertising cloud
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