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Tricks and Treats for Growing eCommerce Halloween Sales

Growing eCommerce Halloween Sales

It’s not too late to get in on fright night’s record popularity and drive eCommerce Halloween sales.

Halloween is all about disguise – from super heroes to slashers, and princesses to politicians, just some of this year’s top-selling costumes. But there’s no masking the popularity of this autumn holiday. Just look at eCommerce Halloween sales. The money consumers spend online and in-store on Halloween merchandise is “scary” – more than $82 per shopper.

According to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey, Halloween spending is expected to reach $8.4 billion, up from $6.9 billion last year and an all-time high. More than 171 million Americans will spend an estimated $3.1 billion on costumes – including ensembles for adults, children, and pets – $2.4 billion on decorations, and $390 million on greeting cards.

In fact, consumer spending on Halloween is more spirited than other key holidays on the retail calendar, outpacing even Valentine’s Day in some categories. Nearly 70% of consumers polled in the NRF’s Halloween survey say they plan to celebrate in some form or fashion – parties, trick-or-treating, and decorating and dressing for the occasion. Just over 54% of the consumers queried in a comparable Valentine’s Day poll said they’d celebrate and spend on the holiday. Even the outlay on Halloween candy – with a record forecast of $2.5 billion – outstrips spending on Valentine’s Day sweets, which topped at $1.6 billion this year.

Is it too late to get in on the action? The answer is no. While spending is highest in September and in the first part of October, late shoppers account for 22% of the market – meaning that close to $2 billion is still on the table in mid to late October. So what’s a retailer to do? With a flexible eCommerce platform in place, it’s scary simple to connect with customers, brew up a personalized experience, and drive sales.

Candy, Costumes, and a Cauldron of CONVERSIONS

It’s no secret that shoppers are searching online for ideas and merchandise before they step into stores. So, if you’ve got Halloween-related inventory – and not just costumes and candy, by the way – apply the capabilities inherent in your eCommerce platform to spin up Halloween categories, promotions and pages that apply to the holiday and drive eCommerce Halloween sales.

Consider Sephora and MAC Cosmetics – and what good costume is complete without a little makeup? Searching on “Halloween” pulls up a variety of “must haves” for a creative costume. Similarly, DSW features theme-inspired shoes and socks combined with a fall promotion, while Home Depot offers a Halloween shopping experience and delivers theme-related content to the home page.mac3

Obviously, stick to your business, but get creative. Keep in mind that everything from make-up and jewelry to footwear and flashlights go into a good costume. And, today’s eCommerce technology not only makes it simple to create categories and promotions on the fly, but also enables retailers to quickly tag merchandise so that it comes up in Halloween-related searches or any other season, for that matter. And don’t forget about mobile users. As with just about everything else, smartphones and tablets are used for the majority of Halloween-related searches.

 

Personalized promotions

Take advantage of your commerce platform’s digital marketing capabilities to drive eCommerce Halloween sales. Spin up personalized Halloween promotions. Review analytics from this time last year, see what sold and tailor a promotion featuring top-sellers – if you’ve got the inventory to support a surge in sales, that is. Conversely, look at laggards. Is there any kind of Halloween spin you can put on a promotion for low sellers to move the merchandise? Today’s digital commerce technology and the intelligence behind it puts power in business users’ hands. Enable them to use it.

No tricks, just treatspinterest2

Leverage social media to drive eCommerce Halloween sales. The NRF calls social media the fastest growing influencer when it comes to costume inspiration – particularly Pinterest, which has grown 133% in the past four years. Use Pinterest’s Promoted Pins, new engagement targeting capabilities to identify Pinners interested in specific content. Take advantage of the highly visual, playful nature of the holiday to create compelling content. Carousel ads on Facebook and Instagram can be used to showcase offers or feature Halloween-specific content.

The bottom line is this: Using capabilities embedded in your commerce platform, it may not be frightfully difficult to capitalize on the popularity of Halloween and to scare up Halloween spending.

 

Kate Mougey

Kate Mougey has made a career of writing about all things technology. She has a unique ability to translate complex subjects – whether it involves eCommerce technology, regulatory issues in telecom or pharmaceutical industry reform - into understandable concepts and language. Before joining PFS, she was engaged for content creation in a variety of companies, including IBM Corp., Verizon, NCR, Gartner and more.