October 10, 2022
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Last Updated on October 10, 2022

Who doesn’t love Halloween? You get to dress up as your favorite character, eat a bunch of candy, and mummy walk from one monster mash to the next all October. 

Even better? What used to be a holiday just for kids has now morphed into an entire spooky season of spending for adults. Besides doing everything to ensure Halloween’s memorable for their children, shoppers spend a significant amount of cash on their own costumes, household decorations, candy, party supplies, and more. 

However, The National Retail Federation says Halloween is a less expensive holiday for consumers than either Easter or Christmas. Therefore, more people will likely take advantage of Halloween eCommerce specials and deals.

That means eCommerce brands and brick-and-mortar shops alike must begin planning their Halloween promotions early enough to capture these sales. And that’s exactly what you’ll learn in this guide.

We’ll explore how much was spent during Halloween 2021 and break down where consumers spent their money. Then we’ll talk about how to capitalize on the holiday and prepare the timing of your promotions. 

We’ll even share five Halloween campaigns you can steal inspiration from to make this holiday both lucrative for your business and engaging for your customers.

So let’s kick things off with why brands are wise to cash in on spooky season:

Consumer Spending Numbers During Halloween

According to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Halloween 2021 report, holiday spending jumped a whopping $2.1 billion from 2020 to reach a record-breaking high of $10.1 billion in 2021.

NRF projections estimate Halloween spending to climb to $10.6 billion in 2022.

Source: The National Retail Federation (NRF)

Stats show that 65% of adults celebrated Halloween in 2021, spending an average of $92.12 on holiday-themed purchases. That’s nearly $6 more than they spent in 2020 when pandemic restrictions curbed trick-or-treating and large parties.

Now that almost 70% of consumers are planning to celebrate this year, Halloween spending is expected to rise to $102.74 per person in 2022.

Source: The National Retail Federation (NRF)

Families with kids spent double on Halloween than child-free households in 2021 ($149.69 versus $73.57). This trend is also expected to continue strong in 2022.

Categorical Breakdown of Halloween Spending

So, where are consumers spending all their Halloween budgets? Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • 96% bought candy
  • 75% purchased decorations
  • 67% picked up costumes (for their kids and pets)
  • 39% spent money on greeting cards

Source: The National Retail Federation (NRF)

When we rank those spending categories by revenue in 2021, we see a clear picture of the astronomical numbers Halloween brings in:

  1. $3.32B from costumes
  2. $3.17B from decorations
  3. $3.00B from candy
  4. $660M from greeting cards

And just as those figures rose between 2020 and 2021, experts believe revenue in each category will skyrocket further in 2022.

Source: The National Retail Federation

Newer spending categories are also gaining traction. For example, pet spending is expected to surpass 2021’s record high sales, hitting $710 million in 2022. 

Halloween and eCommerce Spending

Regarding the top three places people buy their creepy holiday goods, 40% shop discount stores, 36% hit up specialty Halloween shops, and 31% of consumers buy online.

Source: The National Retail Federation (NRF)

That’s why Shopify names Halloween one of the most profitable holidays for eCommerce stores. eCommerce retailers carved out a nice slice of the Halloween pie in 2021, with estimates reporting close to $3 billion specifically spent online during this time.

Consumers get their Halloween inspiration from online searches (36%), Facebook (20%), and YouTube (19%). So with a combined 75% of Halloween-related searches starting online, your brand has a huge opportunity to meet prospective customers where they already are, offer promotions, and convert them with your creative Halloween campaign.

Preparing the Timing for Promotions

When should you begin to prepare your Halloween promo plans? Google Trends reports that users begin searching for Halloween-related queries in mid-September. 

Yet nearly half (47%) of people surveyed start shopping in September or earlier. The rest make their purchases during the first two weeks of October, widely considered peak Halloween shopping time.

So plan your Halloween promos at the beginning of September (or sooner) to strike in time for October searches. 

Aligning Your Campaigns to the Halloween Season 

You can strengthen your eCommerce campaigns when you understand what your consumers are searching for. After all, raking in holiday revenue only works when you sell items people *actually* want. 

Even if you don’t sell products that directly fall into specific spending categories (i.e., costumes, decorations, and candy), you can still participate in the Halloween campaign buzz. 

To do so, it’s crucial to identify what elements of the holiday align with your product or service. Then you just devise a clever way to incorporate a Halloween promo into your marketing strategy. 

Some businesses will align more directly with the holiday than others, while others might have to get a little more … creative. 

Trending costumes provide an easy way to align with consumers. Choosing a Halloween costume sets the tone for the entire holiday’s vibe and steers much of the spending for most people.

So if you need a few ideas to start, consider aligning your campaigns with the: 

Top Costumes by Category (Kids, Pets, and Adults)

Halloween costumes will bring in $3.6 billion in 2022. People are expected to spend almost $2 billion on their costumes, $1.2 billion on those for their kids, and $700 million on pet costumes.

Source: The National Retail Federation (NRF)

When you look at the top costumes for Halloween 2022, you should be thinking one thing: keywords. This list contains the top ten Halloween keywords shoppers are searching for:

Source: The National Retail Federation (NRF)

So to align your campaigns with these keywords, you just have to connect the dots. How can you tie your products to these keywords? How can you appeal to people shopping for those costumes?

Let’s take a look at how some companies used the Halloween season to bring their promotions to life. 

5 Noteworthy Halloween Campaign Ideas to Consider Using in Your Holiday Promotion Strategy

Creating interesting and innovative marketing campaigns for Halloween helps you attract a whole new audience, increase your brand awareness, drive engagement, and, ultimately, convert customers. 

To help you do that, we’re sharing five of our favorite Halloween campaigns below. Use these as inspiration for your own eCommerce marketing campaigns in 2022:

1. Michaels

You don’t have to be a large brand or have a robust marketing team to learn from art supply and craft store giant Michaels. Their 2021 Halloween marketing campaign kept one keyword in mind: personalization:

Michaels divided their Halloween offerings into three distinct (and fun!) collections — Pretty Scary, Happy Haunting, and Enchanted Forest. Then customers were encouraged to shop the collection best matching their personal style.

This campaign is pretty genius and super easy to emulate.

First, the collections help organize and personalize your holiday offerings. People can quickly see the collection that speaks to their aesthetic and head right for it, rather than wasting time browsing different categories.

The curated offerings also spotlight everything tied to that collection, something people may miss if they’re only shopping by category. For example, they may search specifically for a witch tablecloth, but never know you sell matching witch candlesticks, napkins, and earrings. Curating themed items like this boosts your product discovery and cross-selling.

To top it all off, Michaels even had a Monster Mash sweepstakes, another excellent way to drive engagement. 

2. MAC Cosmetics

Makeup brand MAC Cosmetics ran with a Cruella De Vil theme in 2021. The movie Cruella, an origin story of this iconic Disney villain, was released just a few months before Halloween. So MAC capitalized on a trending look for their runway-ready recreation:

But that wasn’t even the best part of their campaign. Instead, it was the 30% off Halloween makeup essentials that really drove sales. Customers snagged everything they needed to complete their delightfully frightful Halloween look.

3. Perfect Keto

Doctor-developed low-carb supplements and food brand Perfect Keto also rocked an effective Halloween 2021 campaign. Why? Because they understood the pain points their customers faced during this time.

Since their shoppers follow a sugar-free, low-carb lifestyle, Halloween candy and sweet treats are usually off the table. So Perfect Keto decided to launch a healthier alternative just in time for the holiday. This new treat allowed people on a keto diet to still partake in the fun and flavors of the season without derailing their goals.

Using words like “Halloween treats” and “creep it low carb” helped Perfect Keto align their product with the season. It solved a customer problem and captured them at precisely the right time.

They sweetened things further with a 25% discount off their newly launched Rice Krispie Treat alternative. That immediately drove sales and encouraged people to try their latest product as soon as it hit the digital shelves (and just in time for Halloween!).

4. Carter’s

Baby and toddler clothing brand Carter’s also knows how to work their Halloween magic.

When parents visit their website, they’re encouraged to “treat the fam” with “spook-tacular” products for the entire family. While shoppers may have just popped in for the little one, they’re more likely to buy other offerings, like adorable matching PJs for the family:

Curating your products around a specific theme or collection gives your brand options to highlight and cross-sell items for busy shoppers.

5. Nanit

Even if your brand has nothing to do with Halloween, it’s still a brilliant idea to partake in the fun by offering a spooky good discount. Just see how baby camera company Nanit does it:

Having a simple Halloween sale — if it makes sense for your business — can help on-the-fence customers convert when they may not have done so otherwise. Nanit simply added a few ghost images and a picture of a baby in a popular Halloween costume to align their campaign with the holiday.

Nanit also encouraged customers to share their Halloween photos in their Nanit Community, which likely helped drive engagement and build up their tribe of followers.

So while their product isn’t considered a Halloween item, they used a few easy tricks to turn things around and score some holiday revenue.

How to Personalize your Halloween Campaigns to Drive Conversions

A great Halloween campaign requires more than just the creative concept; you also need tactical execution. 

When implementing your campaign, take omnichannel marketing into consideration, not only to attract new clients but also to nurture existing ones. 

Make use of your database! Send spooky SMSes and eerie emailers. 

Namogoo offers an intent-based promotions feature, which is a fantastic way to create welcome promos for new customers you may attract to your website. These personalized promotions are based on intent, using non-PII data collected through our platform. This gives you the opportunity to use thousands of data points that are collected as soon as the consumer begins their journey on your site. 

The type of data includes:

  • Browser type
  • Device type
  • Operating System (OS)
  • Geo-location (Region)
  • Internet speed

Now that you have all the information about consumer trends and the Halloween eCommerce landscape, it’s time for you to spook up your Halloween campaigns for 2022! We look forward to celebrating some scary good results!