The start of October brings with it the countdown to Halloween and with it, one last major holiday for retailers to capitalize on before shopping for Christmas and Hanukkah gifts begins in earnest.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) reports that 68% of all consumers will be celebrating Halloween this year, and those consumers expect to spend around $8.8 billion, which is slightly less than what consumers spent during the previous two Halloweens ($9 billion in 2018 and $9.1 billion in 2017).

This provides retailers with ample opportunity to surprise and delight shoppers who are looking for the perfect Halloween costume or decorations to create a spooky surprise for their celebrations.

What they’re buying

Consumer tastes haven’t changed much when it comes to the types of products that they buy to celebrate Halloween.

According to the NRF:

  • 95% of people who shop for Halloween are planning on buying candy
  • 72% who shop for Halloween are planning on buying decorations
  • 67% who shop for Halloween will buy costumes. Princesses and superheroes rank among the top costumes for kids; witches, vampires, and superheroes rank among the top costumes for adults.

Where Halloween shoppers are shopping

With Halloween being a niche holiday that not all retailers stock items for, it’s not entirely surprising that people are flocking to stores that stock up on costumes, décor and candy.  According to the NRF:

  • 42% will buy at a discount store
  • 36% will buy at a specialty/Halloween store
  • 25% will buy online

How you can capitalize, even if you’re not a Halloween-focused retailer:

Create themes on social media

NRF data shows that 72% of Halloween shoppers will buy decorations this year while 67% will buy costumes. Retailers looking to increase basket size should combine the two by featuring social media posts centered around a specific theme or idea that suggests a Halloween costume can be paired with certain decorations in order to help a shopper create memorable moments this Halloween.

Get creative with your products

Just about anything can be used to create a Halloween costume or decoration. Challenge your product and marketing teams to think of different ways that certain pieces of clothing or other products can be incorporated into Halloween. Stress how shopping at your business will help a trick-or-treater stand out on Halloween and create something that their friends and family won’t see anywhere else.

Get spooky with your search

The NRF reports that 35% of consumers are going to be searching for Halloween-themed products online this year. This gives digital marketers ample opportunity to get in front of those shoppers by bidding on Halloween-themed keywords, even if they’re not pushing Halloween costumes or candy specifically. For instance, consider offering “spooky” sales on products you are looking to position as Christmas gifts to increase the potential for incremental purchases.

Cater to last minute and budget minded shoppers

Last minute shopping isn’t just for winter holiday shoppers.

Publishers in the Rakuten Marketing affiliate network including PopSugar and Good Housekeeping among others have all run cheap or last minute Halloween costume idea pieces aimed at helping shoppers who may want to celebrate but don’t have the time or energy to put together an elaborate Halloween costume.

Treat last minute Halloween shoppers the same way you would winter holiday shoppers – by putting together a quick gift guide full of last-minute Halloween costume and decoration ideas aimed at making it easier for shoppers to find something quickly and easily.

Ready to rev up your digital strategy in time for Halloween? Contact us today.