Halloween is frighteningly close, and consumers are busy preparing their families and homes for a night of ghoulish fun. Americans will spend a record $9.1 billion on Halloween this year, according to recent research from the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights and Analytics. That number is up from $8.4 billion in 2016, an increase of more than 8 percent in just one year. Is your small business prepared to handle the growing opportunities?
Most consumers plan to splurge on traditional Halloween items, including candy, costumes, home décor, greeting cards, and more. Small businesses will be competing for those Halloween sales with major retailers and discount stores, so preparation is key for attracting customer attention. Follow these three strategies to put your small business on the map this Halloween and get ahead for the remainder of 2017.
Invest in Marketing and Advertising – While many businesses skip ahead to preparing for the larger holidays taking place in November and December, promoting Halloween is a great way for a small business to start the season with a bang. Drawing customers into your place of business is one of the primary tactics you can use to jump start sales around Halloween. Marketing tactics should begin with festive decorations inside and outside your store. Pumpkins, cobwebs, skeletons – the creepier, the better! Cater to consumers looking for inspiration online by using your business’ social media channels to suggest Halloween projects that can be completed using your products. You can also run a contest offering prizes for the best costumes or jack-o-lanterns, either judged at an in-person event or conducted online with an official contest hashtag.
Offer Discounts – With 47 percent of shoppers in NRF’s study planning to purchase their Halloween supplies at discount stores, price is an important influence on where consumers will be spending this season. If your small business has the resources to offer discounts or promotions, you may be able to catch the attention of some of those bargain-hunting shoppers. Offer extra savings to customers who know the secret password mentioned on your social channels.
Create an Experience – Themed seasonal events like a haunted house or pumpkin painting party are a fun way to entice customers to visit your business. While customers are enjoying the planned activities, they will be interested in considering the products you have available, either for the upcoming holiday or any other need. At these events, offer take-home treats like candy wrappers branded with your logo or trick-or-treat bags including your company name. For restaurants, take advantage of the seasonal spirit by switching up your menu to incorporate fall flavors like pumpkin, apple, and cinnamon.
Don’t get spooked by the Halloween shopping rush – prepare your small business with a few simple steps that could help boost your sales and set you up for a successful end to the year.