As April showers turn to May flowers, many Americans (62%) are thinking about their mothers and how to show them love and appreciation. 

Last year, the most popular Mother’s Day gift was flowers. This year, flowers are the second most popular gift falling behind “other.” While “other” might seem like a meaningless catch-all, the fact that this category increased from 25% last year to 32% this year is significant. Most of the other gift options respondents were given are likely more difficult to share or enjoy during social distancing and lockdowns.

mother's day gifts 2020The most significant gift category to decrease since last year was taking mom out for a meal (from 18% to 7% this year). This data aligns with what we know about many consumers at this point in time: they are extremely hesitant to visit a restaurant when lockdowns are lifted. Mother’s Day brunch is going to look a lot less hectic than it has in previous years.

Most other categories decreased as well although giving flowers did see a jump from 27% to 30%. Ordering flower delivery is one of the easiest, contactless ways to gift moms this Mother’s Day, so it is no surprise that more people would turn to this option. With many florists under restricted hours of operation or limited delivery zones, consumers would be wise to pre-order a bouquet as soon as possible.

Lower spending categories seem to be the most popular this year; although the under $50 budget decreased a little bit, the $51-$100 budget category increased.

A large contributor to shifting spending categories likely has to do with the impact of the coronavirus on jobs. People who say they are working reduced hours or pay, or who are not getting paid or even working at all have the highest instances of spending $0 on their moms this year (52%).

CivicScience data also show a correlation between desire to stay quarantined and lower spending on Mother’s Day. Fifty-six percent of people who would remain isolated in the event of an official government notice to return to daily activities had a $0 Mother’s Day budget. Only a quarter had a budget of up to $50.

Americans are largely still looking to honor their mothers in any way they can. And although many are still spending money, overall spending (or intent to spend) appears to be down slightly from last year. Gen Z, people making under $50K a year, and non-parents have the highest instances of buying something “other” than the traditional Mother’s Day gifts. It appears a number of different groups are looking for creative alternatives to gifting this year, either to save money, comply with lockdowns, or perhaps adjust to their mom’s favorite restaurant or retailer being closed.

And a stat that hasn’t chained despite the pandemic: men are much more likely than women to spend up to $250 to celebrate their moms.