It’s Mother’s Day…Bring on the Flowers & Gift Baskets!

From Gregg Hamilton, SVP of Research & Analytics and Business Development at AdGooroo.

According to the National Retail Federation, consumers plan to spend $2.3 billion on flowers for Mother’s Day this year, making Mother’s Day the top holiday for flower purchases—even over Valentine’s Day at $1.9 billion.
What’s more, the NRF reports that nearly 3 in 10 Mother’s Day gift buyers will be heading to the Internet to make their purchase.

So how are paid search marketers in the Flowers & Mail Order Gifts category responding? If recent trends hold up, then 2013 will be the biggest year on record for paid search spending related to Mother’s Day. Advertisers in the Flowers & Gifts category spent $5.6 million on paid search in May 2010, $8 million in May 2011 and $9.4 million in May 2012, according to AdGooroo’s proprietary data collection and modeling. If this growth pattern continues, then paid search by advertisers in the Flowers & Mail Order Gifts category will exceed $11 million this month.

A Robust & Innovative Category

Flowers & Mail Order Gifts is a robust sector for paid search. According to AdGooroo data, the Flowers & Gifts category ranked ninth among Shopping and Retail categories in terms of paid search spend, accounting for more than $75 million of paid clickthroughs on U.S. AdWords and more than $8 million on the Yahoo! Bing Network during 2012. AdGooroo found more than 450 advertisers active in this vertical on AdWords and more than 250 active on Yahoo! Bing during the year.

Interestingly, the retail florist trade is responsible for some important marketing innovations that are now pervasive and almost taken for granted by retailers of all kinds. For instance, 1-800 Flowers was one of the first U.S. retailers to use a 24/7 toll-free number for accepting orders, while FTD (Florist’s Transworld Delivery, founded in 1910 as Florist’s Telegraph Delivery) was the first organization to form a national network of local operators across the country to enable same-day delivery. One hundred years later, Amazon Locker is replicating this innovation by installing self-service locker kiosks in convenience stores (currently in Seattle, New York and London).

The Top 10 Paid Search Advertisers

Competition for first SERP ad impressions and clickthroughs in the Flowers & Mail Order Gifts category is fierce as old stalwarts bid against newcomers for top page position and the resulting clickthroughs and orders. Based on PPC-generated impressions, the Top 10 paid search advertisers on U.S. AdWords in the Flowers & Mail Order Gifts category in 2012 were:

  1. Pro Flowers – 134 million impressions
  2. 1-800 Flowers – 125 million impressions
  3. FTD – 96 million impressions
  4. – 90 million impressions
  5. – 85 million impressions
  6. Teleflora – 83 million impressions
  7. – 73 million impressions
  8. – 56 million impressions
  9. – 55 million impressions
  10. – 51 million impressions

Top Keywords

This word cloud depicts the most common search queries, sized in proportion to the number of paid search ad impressions served by

US AdWords last year: Flowers_Gift_KW_Word_cloud_2

There were some shifts in the popularity of search queries, and thus of ads served from 2011 to 2012. Here are the Top 25 keyword terms in 2012 and their change in rank from 2011:


Among the big gainers were “mothers day gifts”, “fruit baskets” and “flowers for mothers day”. Notably, “edible arrangements” moved into the Top 10, showing the growing popularity of the Edible Arrangements retailer and suggesting that gift givers may be starting to explore options other than the predictable flower bouquet. If this trend continues in 2013, this would be very good news for all merchants whose gift catalog extends beyond flowers such as Harry & David and