Four keys to unlocking brand growth this spring shopping season

Spring is one of the biggest shopping seasons - as many start dreaming of outdoor activities and new wardrobes. Our research highlights key trends and how to act on them...

Four keys to unlocking brand growth this spring shopping season

Whether it’s for spring cleaning or prom, the spring months present opportunities for brands in a variety of industries to appeal to shoppers. Based on insight from our network of 5,700+ websites, here are the trends and shopping habits to pay attention to this spring season.

So what can marketers and advertisers do to increase awareness and sales during the spring months?

Spring gives consumers a new focus – be part of it
With longer days and warmer temperatures, consumers are more motivated to complete household chores and repairs. One of the first places they start is in their own lawns and outdoor spaces.

Spring is the number one season for online traffic to products in the lawn and garden categories – it’s 146% higher in the spring compared with winter months.

Over Spring Break (March 11 to 17 in 2017), lawn and garden traffic saw its highest surge, up 61% from the weeks prior. Also up 61% from the winter months: searches for over-the-counter medications, likely indicative of the start of allergy season. Not surprisingly, the spring cleaning trend applies within the home too. 

Pageview traffic for cleaning products is 13% higher than it is in the fall months and 18% higher than in winter. If you’re in the consumer packaged goods industry, think about how seasonality informs your marketing strategy. Our research verifies the assumption that during the spring months, consumers are thinking about opening up their backyards and cleaning the darkness of winter away from their homes.

Dress desire is strong  
At the first sign of sun, people ditch the turtlenecks and boots for dresses or shorts. And most look for trend updates.

Dresses emerge as one of the hottest items to stock up on in the spring. Per our data, traffic for dresses is 16% higher in spring than it is in the summer and 52% higher than it is in the fall. If you sell dresses, pay attention to special events in April and May. In late April, dress traffic increases 25% as students everywhere prepare for prom and graduation.

Special days to mark in the marketer’s calendar
Starting with St Patrick’s Day and ending with Memorial Day, there are a number of holidays that are important to certain consumers at this time of year. The two major holidays still to come include Mother’s Day (May 13) and Memorial Day (May 28).

Perhaps surprisingly, Mother’s Day is often a bigger shopping holiday than Valentine’s Day. Last year, consumers spent $24.6 billion on the holiday. Our data shows that jewelry searches increased 36% ahead of the holiday last year, with most traffic coming in the one to two weeks prior to Mother’s Day Sunday.

Shoppers seem to plan ahead for Mother’s Day, so marketers and advertisers should consider running campaigns as early as late April. Memorial Day weekend signals the beginning of summer – and flash sales. We see spikes in two contrasting categories over the long weekend – lawn care and televisions. It appears that some shoppers are taking advantage of the extra day off to work in the yard or host barbecues, while others are taking advantage of holiday sales to purchase big-ticket items like TVs.

Consumer rush for help in countdown to tax day
Few would consider tax day a holiday but there is a noticeable spike in tax software purchasing in the spring. While this overall spike may not be surprising, what is interesting is that the spike occurs in the weeks right before the mid-April deadline, indicating that the population prefers to procrastinate on filing taxes. 

In fact, the week of tax day saw a 50% increase in pageviews for accounting software and this single week accounts for nearly one-fifth of all tax prep software traffic for the season.

There are events and trends during spring that relate to shopping spikes and promise plenty of opportunity for brands. If you sell products in any of the categories in this article, use our insights, along with your own transaction and website data, to inform the specific timing, messaging, and targeting of your spring retail strategy.

Three spring takeaways

  1. Recognize and plan for the seasonal behavior shifts that cause significant traffic changes in your category

  2. Capitalize on wardrobe refreshes and major milestones like prom and graduation

  3. Understand how spring holidays impact your category

View the full infographic for more insights...