This year, total spend on Halloween is projected to reach $6.9 billion according to the NRF (National Retail Federation). Consumers are looking for ways to celebrate fall after a long summer, and this is one of the biggest opportunities for them (and you). As a small business owner, this also marks the start of the official holiday shopping season.
So what’s the best way to easily market to Halloween shoppers? First, you need to know what people want to buy, and when.
People are shopping earlier than ever this year. The NRF’s survey shows that 41% of people plan to shop during the first half of October, and 35% are starting before the end of September. It’s time to get your deals, rewards, sales, and promotions out now.
How are people spending their dough for Halloween? Survey says most Halloween spending falls into three buckets. We’ve outlined each bucket below and included promotion ideas for each:
This Halloween, 43% of adults plan to dress in costume and 33% look around in retail stores for inspiration. In addition, 49% of people plan to decorate their house, 42% plan to carve a pumpkin, 16% plan to dress up their pets, and 71% plan to hand out candy.
If your business sells any potential costume props (for people or pets), clothing, accessories, party-planning supplies, candy, decorations, food, or even catering, give people a heads up now so they can plan ahead.
Don’t sell Halloween-specific things? Hold a spooky happy hour or sale, and hand out small items like mini pumpkins or free candy (which has been shown to increase restaurant tips by 21%). This will get your business in the spirit and show customers you care.
Here are a handful of prep-focused Halloween promotions to send any time between now and the big day (October 31st).
- Our Halloween selection is in! Shop now to beat the scary lines later. Take 25% off until 10/25. A free mini pumpkin may be in store for you, too.
- Don’t be the last ghoul to come up with a costume! Check out our Halloween items and take 31% off until 10/31.
- Why wait for Halloween? Come in Tuesdays 5-8pm for our wicked happy hour and get 50% off appetizers and select drinks.
- Treat yourself – Take a break from the decorating and check out our monster sale. Take an additional 75% off sale items.
Here’s an email promotion example from florist, BloomThat:
The Big Day (or weekend of)
People like to be out and about on Halloween. This year, 33 million people will go to a haunted house, 54 million people will attend a party, and over 160 million will be celebrating the holiday.
Offer day-of sales or three-day deals to encourage visits during the busy weekend:
- Happy Halloween! We’re having a BooGO sale. Buy one [coffee, pastry, salad, pair of earrings, comic book] get the other [free, 50% off, etc.] – Our treat (no costume required). Offer expires 11/1.
- Boo! We’re having a scary sale – Come by Halloween weekend for spooktacular savings and get up to 50% off the entire store.
- Trick or Treat? Stop by the store this weekend and we’ll give you one – Which will it be?
- Treats aren’t just for kids – Come in now through Sunday and get one free [dessert, pint, appetizer, etc.] with purchase.
- Buy one coffee on Halloween, get one free for a friend – The more, the scarier!
Shoppers love their post-holiday discounts – The NRF says 50% of shoppers plan to make buying decisions because of discounts. Whether you want to get rid of Halloween inventory, or didn’t cater to the Halloween crowd, a post-holiday offer will attract all.
- Too much candy? Sounds like you need caffeine. Come in for a coffee and take $2 off.
- Busy night? Recover (and hydrate) with us! Get your first drink free with your purchase.
- Halloween’s over, but the sales are still on. All [brand name] products are 25% off until 11/5.
- Did Halloween give you the creeps? Here’s a celebratory “it’s over!” treat: Buy one [sandwich, coffee, drink, etc.], get one free.
Here’s an example from embroidery biz, Sublime Stitching, telling people to stock up on Halloween patterns for next year.
Sending a fun Halloween-inspired promo of your own? Share it with us!
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