Halloween is the third largest shopping holiday in the United States, with consumers spending a total of $8.4 billion during the 2016 season. And those numbers are only expected to rise: every year, consumers decorate more elaborately, throw more parties, create more complicated costumes, and overall, use Halloween to warm up their wallets for the holiday shopping season.
Even if you just add a few decorations to your store, have employees dress up, and post Halloween themed content during the month of October, it pays to treat Halloween like a holiday kickoff – because it is.
Casting your brand as festive and fun
Consumers don’t think of Halloween as a shopping holiday, even though that’s exactly the way they treat it. Why? They expect an influx of marketing efforts come November 1st, but Halloween is supposed to be the fun holiday; spooky and goofy, full of haunted events and adorable little kids running around trick or treating. By getting involved in the holiday, you set your business up to be seen as festive and engaged with customers, increasing your followers and store traffic so the months of November and December are more successful. Conversely, if consumers don’t see your brand participating prior to November 1st, your marketing efforts easily look like a wallet grab.
Taking advantage of the ‘buying mode’ mindset
Even today, the general public treats Black Friday as the beginning of the holiday shopping season, but according to the National Retail Foundation, 40% of Americans start shopping for the holidays this week, with spending ramping up over the subsequent two months. Getting festive with Halloween provides you with the perfect ‘excuse’ to get your company information out there and cement your brand’s personality to reel in some of those 40%. Then, when the other 60% of shoppers start to tackle their holiday shopping lists, you already have more exposure and social proof, making it easier to seal the deal.
Leveraging Halloween to build your database
Outside of humanizing your brand and increasing customer engagement, Halloween’s goofy, spooky vibe gives you ample opportunities to build your customer database and get ready for holiday marketing, especially if you provide followers and customers with an incentive to come back in during November and December. Throw social media contests with email signup being one of the requirements, hand out coupons when you’re hosting a trick or treat customer appreciation event, or give out discounts to new social media followers or customers who make a purchase on a select day (say, Halloween itself).
Gearing up for November holiday campaign launches
The first two weeks of November are the biggest time of the year to launch holiday campaigns, and Halloween acts as a warmup to that, allowing you to strike while the iron is hot. Start with putting together a gift guide email, transitioning away from spooky and into festive cheer and sending it out the day after Halloween. If you played your cards right during the last two weeks of October, your customer email list should be significantly longer than it was at the end of September.
Even if your products or services don’t really tie in to this spooky holiday, it pays to get in on the fun.