With Father’s Day quickly approaching in June (UK), it’s time for business owners to start thinking about promotions and sales for dad’s big day. In today’s blog, I wanted to have a look at what small businesses can do to boost their sales for the upcoming holiday.

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Father's Day in the UK

Before we get to the advice, I wanted to share an interesting statistic that I came across. According to Statista, Britons spend a lot of money on Father's Day! As the chart below shows, that number has been flirting with the £700 million mark for the last few years!

You will notice the estimate for 2019 looked a bit lower than years past. Perhaps, due to the upcoming Brexit uncertainty, estimations took a dip. Considering the coronavirus pandemic, we can expect that number to be a bit lower for 2020 as well. Despite these circumstances, the numbers are still difficult to ignore:

fathers-day-retail-spending-in-uk-2013-2019-statista
Source: Statista

So, what's the obvious conclusion? Britons clearly love their dads! If nearly £700 million retail spend annually is not reason enough for you to realise that investing some time (and money) into promoting Father's Day is a good idea, I don't know what is.

To drive this point home, I'd like to show you one more chart. This one will give you some insights into the Father's Day shoppers' mentality regarding the holiday. The survey compares the opinions of UK shoppers in 2017 and 2018:

insights-on-british-consumers-who-buy-fathers-day-gifts-2017-2018
Click on the image to enlarge (Source: Statista)

Look closely. Every single answer here showed a higher level of agreement in 2018 compared to 2017. To me, this shows that UK consumers have stronger opinions on Father's Day with each passing year. Moreover, it shows that they have stronger intentions to make purchases with for their dads as the holiday takes on more significance. 

Now, that you know the "why", let's look at the "how". Without further ado, here are our Father's Day marketing tips:

#1 Get ready for Father’s Day ahead of time

If you’re new to running an online shop, I've got some good general advice for you: you’ll want to plan all your website’s annual sales way ahead of time.

Not only does this help you avoid all that last-minute planning and adjustments, but it gives you a chance to promote your sale early enough to catch those non-procrastinating shoppers (don’t look at me) and get them in your shop. Besides, some people rely on marketing to remind them that the holiday is coming up: you're essentially doing a public service for many of us (thanks!). 

Remember, shop owners have got the famous "summer slump" to deal with, so if your site is up and your marketing is ready before the big day, you’ll be able to make the most of this sale, which occurs during a relatively slow shopping period.

So, what can you do to prepare? Plan out your strategy and start getting to work. Do you want to create a special banner at the top of your page? Who will design it? Will you advertise the sale through Facebook and/or Google? If so, will you have a special landing page where ad-clickers will be sent?

Many of these things take time to create and to implement, so it’s best to get started a few months ahead of time.

perfect landing page checklist

#2 Run a Father’s Day social media contest

Offering a simple discount for Father’s Day might be enough to catch a few people’s attention. Going one step further, you might want to consider having a giveaway of the “top dad products”.

Taking it another step further, you should definitely consider having a social media contest. Why? Customer Engagement – that’s why. Sure, you can just give a product away. You’ll get a few sign-ups that you can target with e-mail marketing later on, which is great. However, in this day and age, it’s worth the effort to build a relationship with your customers (and potential ones).

This can be accomplished by having customers interact with your brand in some way and social media is the perfect tool to do that.

Customer engagement whitepaper

You could, for example, encourage them to share their “favourite dad moment”, “dad image”, or even “dad joke” in a social media contest. Remember to think of a clever #hashtag and associate it with the campaign and get them to use it in their posts (e.g. #mydadiscoolerthanyourdad). Also, encourage them to share the post with their own followers.

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Oh here’s another good one: How do you make an octopus laugh? With ten-tickles.

With a social media contest, you’ll not only be getting them to engage with your brand more and share the contest with their friends, but you’ll also be creating an emotional connection to your brand.

#3 Have a “gift guide” on your website

From my personal experiences, my dad has always been harder to shop for than my mom. Usually, moms are happy enough just getting some flowers and/or chocolate. Dad’s can be a bit more of a challenge though.

By creating a “gift guide” on your website, you can help your customers find the perfect gift for the dads in their lives. By segmenting all the different kinds of dads out there (i.e. “sports fan dad”, “handy dad”, “dad-joke dad”, etc.), you’re actually doing a great service for your shoppers (thanks again!).

Of course, this can help guide them to your product pages quicker, which is your main goal, but anything you can do to get them to your product pages quickly is generally a good thing.

If you're confused by what you should stock up on, Statista released some survey results about what UK dads like to receive for Father's Day:

fathers-day_-gifts-fathers-like-to-receive-uk-2019-statistaSource: Statista

Would you look at that? It seems that dads aren't so complicated to shop for after all! Apparently, dads like getting cards, drinking beer, and eating food! Go figure!

#4 Create “dad bundles”

Speaking of gift guides, you can also promote “dad bundles” for your Father’s Day promotion. Bundle a few products together and sell them as such.

Sure, it’s not a ground-breaking idea, but if you highlight the savings that shoppers get (i.e. Save £10 when you buy these two products together), this is a great way to promote the products while also getting rid of some surplus inventory at the same time.

dad_loves_cooking

Some dads love to cook! Inspire your shoppers to buy him some new kitchen appliances and spend some quality time together. 

#5 Marketing!

This is a general piece of advice, but it works together with all the suggestions mentioned above. Because Father’s Day shoppers are not only children, you might want to try segmenting your ads for all your audiences. For example, you can target teenagers for some ads, moms/wives for others, and even adults who are buying gifts for their (older) dads.

By knowing who you’re marketing to, you can customise your ads to fit these different target audiences with different images and texts. This is called micro-targeting.

It’s also worth knowing which apps these target groups use. Though Instagram and Snapchat are used more by younger audiences, Pinterest is used more by the “mom” demographic, so you’re targeting and messages should match.

Bonus Tip: Build trust for new visitors

Okay, you've got the promotion planned and the ads running. Traffic has increased, but you’ve noticed that despite getting a lot of new visitors, your conversions are lacking.

Product ReviewsThis could very well be a sign that your website lacks “trust” elements. You might want to consider getting a product reviews platform for your site, so that your best customers can be advocates for your shop.

Similarly, getting 3rd party accreditation (like the Trusted Shops trustmark, which offers shoppers a 30-day money-back guarantee) can build up trust for your shop and give your shop’s visitors some peace of mind when they contemplate buying from an unknown shop.

Another simple, yet effective tool for increasing conversions is an “exit-intent pop-up”. These are pop-ups that show up only when the user moves their mouse icon towards the “X” of the browser.

Once it is recognised that a user is about to leave the website, the pop-up will show up offering an extra discount. By offering an extra 5% discount (or whatever you choose) and reminding them that Father's Day is coming up(!), you might be surprised by how many people will decide to give your shop a chance after all.

Conclusion

Planning website changes and your marketing efforts is definitely a bit of effort, but getting ready for Father’s Day well in advance can pay off if you do it right. Not only is it a great way to sell products, but it’s an opportunity for you to engage with your customers (and vice versa) and start building up a relationship with them. 

Download 9 ways to win customer trust checklist

This blog was last updated in May 2020.

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