May 1, 2014, 10:32 AM

Sorry, moms, the kids will spend less on you this Mother’s Day

U.S. consumers say they’ll spend about 3.7% less on gifts this year.

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Those ungrateful kids. U.S. online consumers will spend an average of $162.94 to shower gifts on moms this Mother’s Day, down 3.6% from $168.94 last year, a new poll says. While 33.5% of consumers say they’ll head to specialty stores to spend that money, 29% say they’ll shop online. 

The annual survey from the National Retail Federation trade group says total retail spending for Mother’s Day—which is May 11 so get cracking or your mom will never forgive you—will reach $19.9 billion.

A drop in spending on consumer electronics for mom may be at the root of the lower average spending. The NRF estimates spending on consumer electronics this Mother’s Day will total $1.7 billion, down 26.1% from $2.3 billion last year. In other words, kids spent big on products like tablets and smartphones in recent years, and mom already has what she wants.

That might be why more kids will buy mom a gift card this year than last: 43.3% of consumers say they’ll buy one for mom, up from 41.5% a year ago. The NRF says consumers will spend $2.1 billion on them, up from $2.0 billion a year ago.

More than 6,500 consumers participated in this year’s Mother’s Day Spending Survey, which ran online during the first week of April. The survey says 81.3% of consumers will buy mom a greeting card, 66.6% will buy flowers and 33.5% will buy mom apparel or accessories.

The results of a separate Mother’s Day-themed survey, from web-only e-retailer Inc., says average spending on mom will be $133 this year, lower than the NRF’s estimate. Overstock surveyed 800 online shoppers in mid-April.

The Overstock survey also asked the moms what gifts they’d prefer to get this year. More than half, 54%, said they’d prefer shoes or jewelry over getting served breakfast in bed. Overstock says the cutoff for placing orders for delivery in time for Mother’s Day is midmorning on Thursday, May 8. Overstock is No. 31 is the 2014 Top 500 Guide.

Checks on other Top 500 e-retail sites today reveal that department store chain retailer Nordstrom Inc. (No. 24), is promoting May 1 as the cutoff for free standard shipping (later dates are available for paid shipping). Macy’s Inc. (No. 8) is promoting free shipping through May 7 for orders of $99 or more.

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