Unless you’ve been living under a retail rock in 2019, then you know that Halloween is right around the corner.
According to the National Retail Federation, consumers are planning to spend $8.8 billion in 2019, and while that figure is slightly lower than last year, it is by no means chunk change.
If you’re looking to capitalize on the holiday and capture consumer spending, we’ve put together 9 Halloween marketing ideas to help you create a spook-tacular retail store.
The tips are split into two main categories: offline marketing and online tactics. These tips are effective on their own, but for best results, try to implement a combination of them, especially if you’re selling to both online and offline shoppers.
In-store Halloween marketing
Let’s start with getting your brick-and-mortar store into the Halloween spirit. Take a look at the tips and examples below for inspiration on how to drive more foot traffic and sales this season:
1. Have a winning window display to draw shoppers in
Your window display always plays a huge role in driving foot traffic, so if you’re looking to attract Halloween shoppers, you need to create something that speaks to them.
How you design your display is totally up to you, but a quick tip here is to place the important products at eye level. Think about the merchandise you want people to look at or buy, and position them 4 to 5 feet from the ground.
Check out the example below, and notice that while there’s a lot of things going on, the key merchandise (i.e., the outfits) are placed at eye level.
2. Go all out on your displays
If you really want your customers to get into the Halloween spirit, your store should reflect that. Go big with your approach by incorporating classic Halloween elements in your displays.
The retailer pictured below, for instance, placed cobwebs and pumpkins to spice up an otherwise boring display.
Or how about this store, which decided to keep all of its Halloween decors off the ground?
3. Create a Halloween attraction
Want to go beyond displays? Create a Halloween attraction or experience for guests. Think of ways that you can immerse shoppers into the season and bring it to life in your location.
NHC Martial Arts & Fitness, for example, set up a spooky tunnel-like display at the entrance of the studio. It was a novel way to get into the Halloween spirit and it was a hit among NHC’s younger students.
4 …Or consider a more subdued approach
Large Halloween displays and attractions look cool, but they’re not for everyone. If you want a more subtle look for your store, you can still add small and simple seasonal elements in your shop.
Check out the display below. Instead of having loud orange decorations, the creator decided to keep things simple by having cutouts of bats on the walls.
View this post on Instagram
5. Give something to trick and treaters… and their parents
If you’re in a mall or shopping center that allows trick or treating, make it a point to participate. It doesn’t cost much to give out candy, and you can even use it as a marketing opportunity.
Lens Crafters, an eyewear retailer, did just that. Lens Crafters gave out goodie bags to trick or treaters for Halloween. The bags contained candy for the kids, but they also had treats for the parents, including free eyewear wipes and a 40% off coupon.
The Lens Crafters team even added a business card with the store’s contact info and a booklet for parents about taking care of their kids’ eyesight.
It’s a clever move that allowed Lens Crafters to engage Halloween shoppers while promoting its business at the same time.
Try to do something similar this season!
Online Halloween marketing
Got your brick-and-mortar bases covered? Great! Let’s discuss some online Halloween marketing tactics you could try.
6. Make sure your store and products can be found online.
According to the NRF, 35% of consumers do online research for Halloween inspiration. If you’re selling seasonal merchandise — be it costumes, decorations, or candy — make sure your store is discoverable on the web.
Consider the following:
Run local inventory ads
One way to do this is to advertise your merchandise to users who are searching for products in their area. Google’s local inventory ads offer an excellent solution for doing just that.
Here’s how they work: When a nearby customer conducts a Google search for a product that you happen to have in a local store, Google will include that item in its search results. You just have to link your product catalog to Google, and the search engine will display your items on relevant search results.
Have a look at the screenshot below to see Google local inventory ads in action:
On social media? Focus on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram
Consumers also search for inspiration on social media. And when it comes to Halloween, the top social networks are Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram — in that order. If you’re looking to engage potential customers, be sure to keep an active presence on these sites and apps.
One brand that’s doing this well is Starbucks. Not only is the coffee company active on all these sites, but it posts tons of relevant seasonal content. Starbucks has a bunch of pumpkin-themed posts on both Pinterest and Instagram:
The same goes for Facebook, and the company even updated its cover photo for the season.
7. Direct online users to the right place
Once you’ve attracted people to your site, you want to make sure they check out your seasonal merch.
Make this part easy by creating a special Halloween section on your website. Then display a banner on your homepage inviting people to look at your seasonal offers.
Here’s an example of this tip in action, care of The Home Depot.
8. Create useful Halloween content
Constant messages of “BUY NOW” can get old, so mix things up by creating high-value content for the season.
Create something useful and relevant to your audience. If you’re an apparel retailer, maybe you can write a Halloween costume or outfit guide. Sell home decor? Share some DIY tips. If you sell food and beverages, such as our next example, Total Wine & More, you can create recipes for Halloween.
9. Market to your email list
Last but not least is do some email marketing. Whatever you have going on in-store and online this season, see to it that your email subscribers know about it. Email them your offers and content, and always have a call-to-action of what you want them to do.
Here’s some inspiration from Poo-poori:
Halloween may not be as big of a holiday as other events throughout the year, but it still offers a massive opportunity to drive up sales and engagement in your retail business. We hope the tips above gave you some ideas of what you can do this season.
About Francesca Nicasio
Francesca Nicasio is Vend's Retail Expert and Content Strategist. She writes about trends, tips, and other cool things that enable retailers to increase sales, serve customers better, and be more awesome overall. She's also the author of Retail Survival of the Fittest, a free eBook to help retailers future-proof their stores. Connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Google+.