April 29, 2011, 11:58 AM

For a fifth of consumers, saying ‘I love you, mom’ means online shopping this year

The NRF says the percentage of online shoppers will increase for Mother’s Day 2011.

Thad Rueter

Senior Editor

Lead Photo

When it comes to seeking that perfect gift for mothers this year, 21.5% of consumers will turn to online retail sites, up slightly from 19.7% last year, according to a survey released this week by the National Retail Federation.

The trade group’s 2011 findings are based on surveys of 8,488 consumers conducted between April 4 and April 12. BIGresearch conducted the survey.

“This Mother’s Day, the woman who often puts herself last is being put first,” says Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the National Retail Federation. “Americans are in a much better position to spend this year and will push the daily stresses of high gas and food costs aside for one day to celebrate the most important women in the world to them.” 

Perhaps seeking to reward their mothers for years of unending emotional support, laundry and home-cooked dinners, online shoppers this year will each spend an average of $219.40 on gifts for mother. (Mother’s Day gifts also can include presents for shoppers’ wives, grandmothers, daughters and friends, the National Retail Federation notes.) That is about 10% more than last year and about 56% more than the $140.73 average spend for all shoppers, online and offline, according to Fiona Swerdlow, head of research for Shop.Org, the trade group’s e-commerce arm. “Online retailers have reason to smile,” she says.

Bling is big for online shoppers this Mother’s Day, she says. Nearly half of online shoppers say they plan to buy jewelry for their moms, with the average of online jewelry spending at $44.20, which is about 69% higher than the $26.22 average for all shoppers. Consumer electronics, flowers, special outings such as brunch, and spa services also are popular Mother’s Day gifts for online shoppers, she says.

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