Halloween is going to look a lot different this year, but most American families still plan to celebrate the fan-favorite fall holiday. According to the National Retail Federation’s annual Halloween survey, more than 148 million U.S. adults say they plan on doing something to mark the occasion, with home decorating and pumpkin carving topping the list of activities.
Though it remains to be seen just how much of an impact the pandemic will have on the October 31 festivities, we can safely assume that traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating will likely take a backseat to more Covid-friendly activities like socially distanced costume parades and at-home games. Spending will follow suit, with more people diverting budgets away from candy in favor of decorations and memorable activities. There’s good news for brands, however–Halloween spending on the whole is expected to remain fairly steady at $8.05 billion, a slight drop from last year’s $8.78 billion.
So how can retailers capitalize on the first big celebration of the holiday season while helping their customers make safe choices? Here are four ways to promote spooky, pandemic-appropriate fun while driving sales this Halloween.
With the pandemic making day-to-day life inordinately mundane for millions of Americans, consumers are eager for events to look forward to. Halloween shopping is starting earlier than ever this year, with four in ten people saying they planned to begin their shopping in September or earlier. The takeaway for brands? Start selling now.
Make sure your Halloween merchandise is on full display on your website, with promotions and recommended products prominently featured on the home page. Begin regularly posting Halloween content to your social media channels with high quality visuals that stand out in the news feed. Build your email list with a Halloween-themed contest that requires an email address for entry. Follow up by sending subscribers special offers and creative ways to celebrate via email to help shoppers get into the spirit.
As always, it pays to be a resource to your customers. The majority of shoppers begin their buyer’s journey well before they ever make a purchase, and brands that stay top-of-mind through frequent, relevant content sharing are most likely to make the sale when the time to buy arrives. Remember, it takes the average B2C customer six to eight touchpoints with a company–and sometimes many more–before they’re ready to purchase.
Become a trusted source of information and build brand awareness by sharing creative ways to celebrate Halloween while staying Covid-safe (and be sure to work your products into the mix in the process!). Here are a few examples of content campaigns where you might blend your products with fun ways to mark the holiday:
- Using party supplies to create an at-home celebration for kids in the neighborhood
- Halloween decorating ideas for every room in the house
- Themed recipes to accompany classic scary movies
- Creative Halloween costumes that incorporate everyday household items
- Pandemic-safe ways to pass out Halloween candy, like individual grab bags that eliminate the need to reach into a bowl
Make it easy for users to find and buy any of the products featured in your campaigns with dedicated Halloween collection pages on your website.
For many households, the resolve to celebrate Halloween in spite of the pandemic is less about the need to dress up in a costume and knock on doors for candy than it is about upholding traditions. Engaging in familiar traditions can help us feel a sense of normalcy, which is comforting in the midst of one of the most chaotic years most of us have experienced.
Help your audience achieve this–and win emotion-driven purchases–by making tradition a core component of your marketing messaging. Research has shown that marketing is most effective when it appeals to an emotion, whether that’s joy, surprise, excitement or comfort. Even a healthy dose of fear can have a place in Halloween marketing.
From October staples like carving jack-o-lanterns to new traditions that keep the holiday fun but safe, use images and copy that appeal to shoppers’ emotional connection to and sense of nostalgia for the holiday to maximize the effectiveness of your Halloween campaigns.
With more Americans opting to stay home this year rather than brave public places like crowded stores and trick-or-treat events, a solid online Halloween marketing strategy is paramount.
According to the NRF survey we mentioned earlier, 30% of shoppers plan to make this year’s Halloween purchases online. That’s up from 25% last year. And shopping isn’t the only activity consumers are doing via screen–they’re also seeking out pandemic-friendly activities like virtual costume contests and Halloween games.
Capitalize on the increased online attention by putting your digital strategy front and center this Halloween. Here are a few ways to deck out your virtual digs while simultaneously driving sales:
- “Decorate” your website by updating your banners, widgets and popups to use Halloween themed imagery and colors
- Offer free shipping over a certain amount to incentivize online purchases and increase average order values
- Run flash sales and use countdown timers to create a sense of urgency around checking out
- Change your cover photo and profile images on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
- Encourage customers to submit photos of their Halloween purchases, then re-share them on social media
Of course, a fully-optimized mobile version of your website and a friction-free checkout process across devices are must-haves, as well.
Between social media, email, PPC campaigns and SMS marketing, your Halloween sales strategy likely has many moving parts–and that’s a good thing. Having a strategy that’s integrated across channels is a proven way to drive brand loyalty and capture more sales. However, it also requires precise planning and meticulous execution.
Take the spook factor out of Halloween marketing with help from Springbot. Our data-driven dashboard brings together all of your marketing activities in one place, so it’s easy to monitor when campaigns go live, see which ones are performing the best and make optimizations in real time. Map a path to a successful Halloween season by requesting your free Springbot demo today.