Top Halloween Marketing Ideas for Online Stores

Oct 30, 2019

272 Dasha M.

Top Halloween Marketing Ideas for Online Stores

Happy Halloween – carved pumpkin time is here! Find out in our article about the most popular Halloween costumes and how top brands take advantage of the holiday shopping frenzy. On top of that, we are going to share some inspiring Halloween ideas and tips for your business.

Why is Halloween Important for Retailers?
What are the Top 10 Halloween Products to Sell?
Best Tips for your Halloween Marketing Campaign

Why is Halloween Important for Retailers?

The end of October is a season of colourful trees and picturesque sunsets. And it’s time for all the undead to show up… No, of course, we do not believe in superficial creatures, but who knows what is going to happen this year. Anyway, people love Halloween. Wondering why?

There are no presents, no special dishes, relatives from the middle of nowhere don’t come to visit, but Halloween is still a solid celebration. It is a perfect time to throw a crazy-costume party, carve lots of pumpkins, get some drinks and, what is undoubtedly the best of it – scare somebody and get away with it.

Finding a whole bunch of new theme-packaged cookies in Walmart, customers get ready to kick off the preparation to kids’ favourite Fall event. And here, online shopping could be of much help – so, let’s get down to business.

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How many people buy Halloween supplies online?

An online survey among the US shoppers has shown the following tendencies in customer’s behaviour during the holiday shopping:

  • 27% of Halloween shoppers claim that they prefer to shop online – a group of people that is largely made up of Millennials and others younger than 45;
  • 20% of shoppers prefer to do online Halloween shopping through online-only retailers such as Amazon.com, Ebay.com, Etsy.com;
  • 18% of Halloween shoppers prefer to make Halloween purchases through online retailers like PartyCity, Target, and Walmart;
  • Millennials are the target demographic for the Halloween season and constitute a staggering 81% of those who celebrate [1].

halloween article belvg

What devices do customers use for Halloween shopping?

It is a no-brainer that Halloween shopping trends go hand-in-hand with treats, sweets, dresses and pumpkin faces. Aside from being a tool aiming at selling your products, Halloween marketing is a process of having a whole lot of fun colouring everything with black and orange and throwing around tons of creepy posters. That is to say that no matter what your product is, customers want everything spiced up to the festive mood and pumpkin seasoning.

Over 60% of Halloween searches are coming from mobile devices. Desktop shoppers also resort to online shopping, especially before the holiday season, looking for some scary deals and sales. However, the trends show that online shopping from desktop computers is going to take a backseat compared to mobile shopping. Younger generations like Generation Z and Millennials, who celebrate Halloween most today, enthusiastically take advantage of ordering holiday stuff online.

In 2018 the average Halloween spending hit 86$, consisting of 30$ spent on costumes, around 25$ on candies and the same amount on decor. This year numbers are not projected to be highly different according to the retailers. However, the number of school kids in the United States is growing, and we expect a slight growth within all categories. Above $9 billion was spent on Halloween in 2018, with over $3 billion of sales made online [2].

Now, get ready to learn some tips and tricks to make your Halloween marketing campaign genuinely spooktacular.

halloween marketing tips

What are the Top 10 Halloween Products to Sell?

1. What are the best Halloween costumes?

You have probably guessed that the costumes go first. If your company is connected with the clothing industry, it is surely a crunch time to put all your crazy ideas to life.

A piece of good news is that simple and minimalistic dresses remain popular. So, even if you don’t sell the costumes of some creepy creatures, keep in mind that your company can still win from Halloween shopping frenzy. Promoting costumes from well-known movies is also welcomed, although, you need to be sure to help out consumers looking for something extravagant, also accessible and at a fair price.

The most trending costumes are witches, pirates, Disney princesses, Star Wars’ characters, vampires, zombies, and DC superheroes [3]. On top of that, many people today, especially Millennials, buy costumes for their pets as well. Around 20% of all pet lovers do so. The most popular pet costumes are pumpkin, hot dog, bumblebee and devil. Also, dog owners specifically enjoy dressing their lovely pet as a cat. Keep in mind that in the last two weeks before the Halloween night the demand for various costumes is on the top of the iceberg.

halloween article marketing

2. What are the Most Selling Halloween Candies?

Nothing is new under the sun, right? Children are happy to use treat-or-treat part as a great excuse to eat the sweets before and even instead of dinner. However, kids are not the only ones who grab all the candies from the shelves, there are also adults who do not want to earn a reputation of greedy ones among the local children and their parents.

Besides thousands of kilograms of chocolate that will be purchased for the Halloween season, there is also an abundance of all-favourite mouthwatering caramel apples, jellies, cupcakes, and Oreo Halloween limited edition cookies. As a retailer, you may be interesting that the most selling Halloween candies include Skittles, Reese’s Cups, M&M’s, Snickers and Starbursts, and Candy Corn [4].

The majority of parents obviously prefer stocking in a dollar store or grab any bars they notice on sale while doing groceries. However, you may implement a win-win solution which will not only generate you some profit but also make your customers happy – offer, for example, a free candy box if they buy 3+ items or spend 50$+ in your store. You need to make sure your customers know about this deal before they make up their grocery shopping lists, so it is a good idea to set up an email marketing campaign. For those who make shopping decisions on the spot, you need to put clear and noticeable signs around your brick and mortar store or eye-catching banners on the website.

3. Where do People Buy Halloween Makeup?

Makeup art is taken as important as costumes, because if you want to really get into the role, not only the dress, but the face look is to be polished up. If you put a hallowingmakeup hashtag on Instagram search, you will be amazed by the number of ideas.

The profits within this field are high and attractive, but there are also negative sides for the newcomers in selling makeup. This nitch gets very competitive during holidays, especially Halloween, top American retailers like Walmart, Amazon, Target are not ready to take a backseat and let the smaller brands get the customers. They start promoting their products early and all together – makeup, costumes and even specific treats, to attract those who plan their Halloween outfits in advance.

However, the demand is high, and many people explore different stores before purchasing, and there is a high chance for a new retailer on the market to earn a loyal customer. Those who do not use cosmetics on a daily basis and for them it is a big challenge to decide where to start. The top brands know about it and successfully take advantage of this unawareness.

4. What are the Most Popular Halloween Decorations?

Home and yard decor is a big part of Halloween – a lot of people try to create a special atmosphere of evil spirits. Rolling a Happy Halloween poster and placing some skeletons in the front yard, the Americans turn their “home sweet homes” into real haunted houses. Many parents also encourage their children to craft different decorations with handy tools or DIY kits. It’s all about having fun together.

After we have analysed the demand for the most popular Halloween decorations, we came to the conclusion that the following Halloween decorations are the most trending this year:

1. Glowing witch hats
2. 3D bat wall stickers
3. Activated mirror with a creepy noise
4. Bloody decal pack
5. All kinds of skeletons
6. Spiderweb fireplace scarf
7. Hanging ghosts
8. Trick-or-treat Halloween banners
9. No trespassing and spell signs
10. Pumpkin collectables

5. Do People Buy Carved Pumpkins?

Pumpkins are literally all-around Halloween [5]. The best pumpkin spice latte together with squash pies are a must-try, and using pumpkins in your Halloween marketing strategy is a must-do. Farmers enjoy this season and come up with plenty of creative ideas for Halloween advertising. In every corner at every site, you will find at least 3 creepy carved pumpkins wittingly smiling at you.

The process of carvings is a nice family activity that brings a lot of joy. However, the people who do not feel inspiration can always buy a ready-made custom carved pumpkin. As a retailer, you can just put a pumpkin sticker on whatever you are selling or use pumpkin-shaped packaging to help your customers get in celebration mood.

6. Do People Buy Special Halloween Lighting?

Flickering candles help a lot in setting a special ghostly atmosphere, and it is one of the first things that comes to mind when you think about Halloween decorations. However, lightning is not only about a holiday mood: trick-ot-treat part begins when the sun goes down, and most parents do not feel comfortable about the idea of their kids walking around in the darkness. Those who want to keep Halloween atmosphere and yet be confident that the children are safe are likely to purchase a lot of various pumpkins, ghost or skeleton-shaped lightens. Light projectors, strobe lights and lightning and thunder effects machines are usually, especially in demand.

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7. Do People Buy Halloween movies?

In the same way as watching Kevin staying home alone makes people feel cosy, the Halloween-theme movies and cartoons allow people to feel the presence of evil spirits without going to the haunted house. The companies who sell movies and subscriptions like Netflix and HBO are fully aware that there can be no cosy family party without a horror movie or cartoon. They usually offer a special list of new and old Halloween movies, so once the client starts searching, they get curious not only about the horror they initially looked for but about the other movies in the list too.

8. What is the Best Halloween Jewellery?

Jewellery finds its place on any holiday! Most people are very likely to put on something eye-catching only at the Halloween party and they do not want to spend a lot just for one night. The most popular and selling Halloween jewellery items cost up to 20$ and include ghost and pumpkin earrings, bracelets and pendants with skeletons. And, of course, gothic chokers are a timeless classic.

Some brands release limited editions of their jewellery using not only some Halloween elements but also just warm Fall colours to be able to also sell it when the celebration is over. For instance, we can take a look at Pandora – their all-time famous charms capture the eye immediately.

pandora halloween marketing

9. Are Halloween Video Games Trending?

As Halloween comes to your doorstep, the game developers welcome it by releasing and promoting the scariest games. It is even better than watching a horror movie – basically, it is like taking part in one yourself. Since Halloween is just a one-day celebration, most of the big companies selling video games try to generate bigger profits and attract more customers starting holiday sales a few days before and keeping it at least a few days after the holiday is over. For example, Steam, a famous video game distribution platform, does so:

steam halloween marketing

10. What are the Best Halloween Party Supplies?

Last but not least here is Halloween party supplies. Absolutely anything from pumpkin-formed plates to syringe for pouring drinks into glasses can be used for partying – creativity has no limits. Smart Halloween marketing campaign can work not only for the trick or decoration store. Even when your brand does not sell Halloween-related products, the right advertisement can help you take advantage of the holiday shopping. If you set the eye-catching promotion about how your products can be used as party supplies in an interesting way, people will be attracted by the creativity.

Best Tips for your Halloween Marketing Campaign

Launch your pre-party marketing campaign

Here is the fact – 40% of customers begin their holiday shopping in advance. Be it any special occasion or festival, the people are always ready to open their wallets to purchase something interesting. Armed with a smart marketing strategy, you have plenty of time to catch them on your enchanting deals. To maximize conversion and catch the worm, a retailer should start promotions, advertisements in early October. On this Google Trends graphics, you can see that searches for Hallowing costumes being already at the end of August:

google trends halloween costume

However, as with any other celebration, there are always a lot of late shoppers who realize that Halloween is coming only when it is already here. About half of all Halloween shoppers do not think about where to shop until the sales unfold. The women tend to get concerned about the preparation earlier than men but they on average also purchase more.

marketing halloween tricks

Use Halloween Online Store Design

Refine your ecommerce platforms to make it crisp and compelling, explore countless holiday design elements from carved pumpkin to lovely ghosts calling short lines like “Boo’d boo’d up Boo”, “Nail the sale” or “Too cute to spook”. However, since development and web design are not things that can be managed within a day, you need to prepare your website in advance.

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Offer a scary deal of special discounts

To ensure your customers get in the Halloween mood, you can arrange some interactive activities. It is one of the best ways to keep your audience engaged and entertained. Here are some freshly-baked ideas we bet your customers will enjoy!

  • Let your customers choose the best costume design and give discount coupons for the most active participants as well as a price for the winner.
  • Encourage your customers to share a story in their social media about how ridiculously they used your product for a Halloween party and award the creativity. By doing so, you will be able to create a connection with your customers, and secondly, it can increase the overall selling by expanding your audience. Many of the participants will ask their friends to vote for them on your website or social media profile.
  • How about the scary one-day discount? A catchy slogan like “zombie-discount will die at midnight” may draw attention and increase your profit in the last Halloween days.

Use All of the Tools that Social Media Can Offer

When it comes to costumes, spooky Halloween spots, parties-to-go or tips for decorating homes and yards, we should tell you – customers are very likely to check out social media for tips and reviews. It’s better for you to be ready to catch them right away.

One of the most important tips here is to use the right hashtags to be easily found by potential clients searching online. Try to inspire them with Halloween ideas at every touchpoint. We have analysed social media trends and prepare test Halloween hashtags on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for you. However, to get more attention to your brick and mortar store, you should also check for the locally popular hashtags.

halloween marketing top tips

Create Unique Gift Cards

Just because the holiday is left behind doesn’t mean the deals have to be. We all celebrate here, so why not award the most loyal shoppers with a Halloween gift card, put their name and misty glitter, so they scroll your website pages again later looking for something interesting they could buy from you?

Another good way to thank your customers for choosing your store for Halloween shopping is a trick-or-treat bag of candies given with every purchase. Placing this candies in a nice-looking reusable bag can serve as a reminder of your brand if kids use to put candies during the next year holiday.

Send paper “Happy Halloween” cards to loyal customers

Emails and social media congratulations are certainly important, but if you want your brand to stand out among the competitors, you should consider sending out old-school paper cards. As we mentioned in one of the previous articles, Generation X – most of the parents of today’s kids – are big fans of a regular post. You may think that post offices are forgotten by everyone, but people still enjoy receiving colourful holiday cards. It will make your customers feel a personal approach and care.

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Conclusion

During Halloween season there are no extra weekends to do all the holiday preparation, and wandering around the supermarket shelves with all the trick-or-treat stuff, after a long working day can be pretty stressful. That is why Halloween is a great opportunity for your ecommerce business to take the lead and boost sales earning more loyal customers that will visit your store again for the next holiday.

We hope that the tips mentioned above inspired you to create something special for your customers. Happy Halloween and stay tuned with our blog for the Christmas ecommerce tips!

 

[1] https://nrf.com/insights/holiday-and-seasonal-trends/halloween
[2] https://nrf.com/insights/holiday-and-seasonal-trends/halloween/halloween-data-center
[3] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-26/princesses-lose-out-to-superheroes-in-sign-of-frozen-decline
[4] https://www.forbes.com/sites/melissakravitz/2019/10/02/most-popular-halloween-candy-by-state/#1a77a8732c57
[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack-o%27-lantern#Pumpkin_craft

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