Mother’s Day growing up was always a special day. I have fond memories of this Sunday in May, often the perfect time of year – beautiful, sunny, and the ideal temperature. We’d spend time together as a family over brunch before we’d head out to visit my grandmothers. We’d treat my mom like a queen – presenting her with beautiful flowers, cards, and gifts wrapped in brightly colored tissue/wrapping paper/ribbon. In hindsight, more than half the fun was the opening itself — even before seeing what was inside.
Fast-forward 20 years. Many of my peers (including myself) no longer live in the same cities as their mothers. This unfortunately means that Mother’s Day isn’t a holiday we typically get to spend together in person, and necessitates that gifts be sent in advance. I’m clearly a huge online shopper, so finding/selecting something to send wasn’t the problem, but this year I was still faced with quite a conundrum: do I ship the items directly to my mom from the retailers, or do I ship them to myself in Brooklyn, wrap them beautifully/with a personal touch, and then ship them to my mom in Michigan from here? Even though it’s probably more expensive and time-consuming, I ultimately went with the latter. I wanted to re-create the excitement of years past, so my mom will hopefully have a special moment when she receives and opens the gifts.
Herein lies a potential opportunity for retailers: give consumers a way to order online, but still create that wow, emotional gifting moment. Instead of offering the same basic gift options used the rest of the year, cater the wrapping (paper/ribbon) to be more holiday-specific. Even if just for holidays like Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day, make it more special for the woman receiving the item. I understand there are numerous executional/operational challenges that would accompany such an offering, but this could be a novel way to differentiate. A very simple approach could be to simply give consumers the choice of ribbon color, even if continuing to use a simple box. If I knew my gifts would arrive with a bit of pop/uniqueness, it would have pushed me over the edge.