April 24, 2012, 10:25 AM

Telling mom she’s loved and appreciated means going online for many shoppers

Many moms will get tablets from their tech-happy admirers for Mother’s Day.

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More of half of online shoppers, or 52%, will buy their Mother’s Day gifts online this year, with 5% planning to make purchases from mobile devices and the rest, 43%, expecting to go to physical stores, according to a new survey from PriceGrabber.

The comparison shopping service, a unit of Experian, based its finding on a survey conducted between March 26 and April 9 of 4,295 U.S. online consumers. The survey suggests that at least a few  mothers might be lucky to receive phone calls this year, as 29% of respondents do not plan to buy a Mother’s Day gift.

Of all respondents, 13% say they will buy technology items for Mother’s Day. Tablets and smartphones are the most popular gadget-gift choices this year, with 51% and 21%, respectively, of those tech-seeking shoppers planning to buy at least one of those items. Computers and e-readers each took 15% of the vote, closely followed by cameras, with 13%. Just 7% of shoppers selected televisions as an intended Mother’s Day tech gift. Respondents could make more than one selection.

Still, flowers came out on top as the most popular Mother’s Day gift, with 43% of respondents planning to buy blooms for the holiday. Gift cards are next, with 22%, followed by clothing and accessories, 17%; jewelry or experiential gifts like dinner or a show, 15%; beauty, cosmetics and spa packages, 9%; home appliances, 4% and sporting goods, 1%. Respondents could make more than one selection.

“Even though most shoppers plan to honor their mother with flowers this year based on our survey data, it is not surprising to see that tablet computers are the top choice among consumers planning to give a tech-type gift for the holiday,” says Graham Jones, general manager of PriceGrabber. “Tablet computers have become one of the top-searched items on PriceGrabber this year.”

The survey also found that most consumers who plan to give their moms gift cards will stick with the physical version (73%) instead of opting for e-cards (12%). The remainder are either not sending any card or sending both types.

Most respondents, 62%, expect to spend less than $100 for gifts. 20% will spend $100 to $249, 8% will spend more than $250, and 10% report not having a budget for the holiday.

Just under a third of Mother’s Day shoppers, 30%, will make purchases a week in advance, with 27% buying two weeks ahead, 12% buying three weeks ahead and 13% getting ready a month early. The rest, 18% will buy within 48 hours of Mother’s Day, which is May 13.

Another survey, which was conducted by the National Retail Federation in early April and polled 8,724 consumers, found that roughly one quarter, 25.6%, of all respondents will buy Mother’s Day gifts online this year, up from 21.5% last year. Total spending on the holiday will reach $18.6 billion, the trade group says.

Lily Cantor, CEO of Serena and Lily, will be speaking at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2012 in June in Chicago in a session titled “Consumer data consolidation: the Holy grail of 21st Century Retailing.

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