Flower, gift and card merchants will have been busy this week as Brits prepare to pull out all the stops in the lead up to Mother’s Day, taking place this coming Sunday (March 15). 

Mother’s Day has grown to become a key event in the sales calendar, and with just days until our mums are rewarded for all their hard work, Rakuten Affiliate Network – formerly LinkShare – has released a series of predictions for retailers and affiliate marketers wanting to get involved.

This year’s celebration is set to mark yet another departure from traditions as an increasing number of people turn to the web for their cards and gifts.

With Rakuten’s affiliate network poised to witness developments in the e-commerce world, the group has laid out the following trends to consider.

Later buying

While everyone wouldn’t mind having Mother’s Day all wrapped up days before the weekend,  there will always be some latecomers. However, data from last year shows that buying late has actually become a trend with purchasing gifts for the big day. 

It was once typical for consumers to have everything sewn up 6-7 days in advance. Yet in 2014, the peak sales window came 5 days before Mothering Sunday, with the Saturday also seeing a huge rise in sales. 

The group has pinned this to the luxury handed to them by services like click and collect, which allow buyers to purchase online and pick-up in-store, at their own convenience.

Mobile purchasing   

Very few trends in retail can’t be summarised without a mention of mobile technology and Mother’s Day could become another sales event which sees a flood of purchases coming from smartphones and tablets. 

Last year, Rakuten’s affiliate partners saw a 169% rise in smartphone transactions year on year, with tablets witnessing growth of 57%. Mark Haviland, MD at Rakuten Marketing, sees no reason for this to slow in 2015. 

“We all know that in fact every day is Mother’s Day, or at least that’s what I tell my sons, but this weekend is when we like to show extra affection. And the numbers back that up; we saw sales rise by a quarter year on year in 2014. 

“But with mobile growing so fast too, that affection is coming as we multi-task, so brands have to be fast and nimble to get the right offers to loyal sons and daughters wherever they are. 

“We don’t have to wait till we get home/to the office; we can act on the move and that’s how many of us are shopping these days.” 

Key categories

Finally, while the week leading up to Mother’s Day will always represent a vital period for flower and card merchants, a number of other retailers have been tipped for a boost in sales, too. 

Rakuten Affiliate Network pictures a big seven days for sellers of apparel and accessories as well those with beauty and luxury items, which have typically performed well in the last three years.

As for flower merchants, Bloom & Wild – a UK firm that delivers fresh flowers through each customer’s letterbox – is predicting a 148% lift in sales for its affiliate programme, compared to findings from last year. 

Mother’s Day is estimated to be worth £400 million to sellers of gifts and cards, who will duly hope that online technology – along with the increasing preference of purchasing via mobile – will make March 15, 2015 the biggest celebration yet.