How to Make Marketing Magic on Halloween
When it comes to holiday shopping, news stories, reports and data heavily focus on Christmas and Hanukkah. From Black Friday until New Year’s Eve, news abounds on everything ranging from how much people bought to how profitable the season was. Halloween will be here this coming Tuesday. While shopping activity is not as scrutinized as the winter holidays, Halloween sells – big time.
When it comes to holiday shopping, news stories, reports and data heavily focus on Black Friday to New Year’s Eve; news abounds on everything ranging from how much people bought to how profitable the season was. But, Halloween will be here this coming Tuesday, and while shopping activity is not as scrutinized as the winter holidays, Halloween sells – big time.
Halloween is everywhere
Every October 31st, celebrations involving candy, costumes, decorations, and confections of all sorts are in full swing. It’s a safe bet that more candy is sold right before Halloween than at any other time of year. (Well, maybe Valentine’s Day is a close competitor.) And when else would there be a need for so many costumes at so many sizes and styles? Every Party City and Rubies Costume Company location is crowded and busy beyond measure. The aisles, stock rooms, and parking lots are filled to maximum capacity. (One might consider the activity in these centers as a prelude of how many other stores will look at the end of December.)
But Party City, Rubies Costume Company, and stores like them are not the only ones who win big on Halloween. Well-known brands that have no connection to costumes or masks also cash in on this scarily fun holiday. Dunkin’ Donuts, for example, launched a costume contest connected with Instagram.
Contestants have been posting pictures of themselves in costume to the image-focused platform, and the winner will be featured on a billboard in Manhattan’s Times Square (not to mention receiving $2,500 and one year’s supply of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee.)
How Halloween can be happy for small businesses as well
If you own a small business, or have just opened a new store, consider a Halloween theme to attract attention.
One word perfectly sums up the holiday of Halloween: create. Professional shops create and market new costumes and decorations each year. Online shops like Etsy have craft businesses that are dedicated to supplying from everything to Halloween party banners to cookies to costumes. Take what resources you have at your disposal, and create a Halloween setting in your locale or online shop that will give customers a positive experience.
Here are some basic ideas to help small businesses create a “Happy Halloween” for their customers…
- Costume your space: Everyone from kids to adults to pets put on costumes on this day. (Well, pets have costumes put on them.) That being the case, the space of your business can be costumed by way of everything from window displays with pumpkins, ghosts and ghouls to decorations in the aisles and at the check-out counters. Make it eye-catching, vivid and fun (but not too scary, as you want people coming into your business – not running away in fright).
- Throw an in-store Halloween party: Send out an open invitation via leaflets, email blasts, or by creating a Facebook Event that lets people know a Halloween party is happening. The location: your place of business. Include a “Halloween Deal” that connects with your merchandise. Does your establishment sell DVD and/or Blu-Ray discs? Place some horror classics front and center at special prices. Or, hold a raffle where the winner receives a free horror movie. Is your business a clothing store? Host a costume party where the prize can be either a gift certificate or a free item of apparel.
- Get neighboring stores to join in: Is your business part of a strip mall, or are there other stores and shops in the immediate vicinity? If the owners of these places are agreeable to the idea, consider partnering up. Customers visit one store. As they are leaving, you or the staff at other stores make these customers aware of what the participating businesses have to offer for some additional Halloween fun.
- If you’re online, create a one-stop shop: Add a page on your website that is wholly dedicated to Halloween. It makes people feel festive and lets them see everything you have in one location.
Holidays, generally, are great opportunities for creating memorable shopping experiences. The “trick” is to give customers the “treat” of a great time. They will remember this great time, and make return trips to your business – all year long.