What to expect this spooky retail season
As retailers worldwide work their way through the remainder of 2022, it’s time to brace for the big leagues. The major holidays of the year are lined up and ready to go- and this report covers the A-Z of what’s in store for halloween trends, stats, and spends this October.
Read on to uncover the ‘tricks’ of the trade that your brand could employ to redeem the ‘treats’ of this season’s Halloween spending.
And by treats, we’re talking delectable increased sales and profits.
Halloween Spending in 2022
‘The more the scarier’ always holds true for Halloween celebrations, as households plan their purchases for the big night- costumes, candy, decorations, and other festive purchases stack up for a massive season of spends, even in the eve of major holidays like Thanksgiving, black Friday, Christmas, and New Years. Despite a slow year of celebrations in 2020, festivities returned with a vengeance in 2021, with Americans spending a record high of $10.14 billion overall, reports the National Retail Federation.
A whopping 65% of Americans celebrated halloween last year- with an increased average per person amount of $102.74 spent on/for the holiday, a considerable increase from previous years. This not only indicates a fantastic seasonal opportunity for retail in terms of increased willingness to spend, but also in the fact that a notably wide demographic of consumers engage actively in celebrations, from college going young ones to families with small children, widening the scope for marketing activities, promotions, increased sales, and higher profit margins. Regarding the former, costumes are one of the top priority spends- in 2021, America spent $3.32 billion on costumes alone. Retail selections for costumes cover every single size, shape, and age group- most popularly, the cost for children’s costumes circle the range of $25 – $40, not including makeup, props, bags for candy, or any sort of add on. Similarly, the cost for adult-sized costumes can either remain in the $30 – $60 range for the typical household, but can reach hundreds for committed enthusiasts with special or custom looks. In recent years, consumers have begun to dish out to put their household pets in costume too, adding about $10 – $30 on average to costume related spends.
Decorations, greeting cards, and candy follow closely behind in terms of biggest expenditures, with the average consumer spending $3.17 billion on decorations, $3 billion on candy, and $660 million on greeting cards in 2021. A key aspect of nailing your Halloween campaign is to start early- with these costs adding up, households plan their seasonal spending early on, to grab good deals and keep with ongoing trends.
Top brands organize all their promotional activity well before October, because as soon as the beginning of the month arrives conversion picks up quickly. Consumers often begin their spending sprees right from the beginning of fall, with seasonal treats leading up to Halloween. Starbucks’ much-awaited Pumpkin Spice Lattes mark the beginning of the fall frenzy, and with it comes evenings at pumpkin patches, apple picking, sweater and new fashion trends, and more. Social feeds and marketing is flooded with seasonal communication early on, and the best players distinguish themselves from the noise with engaging communication and cleverly bundled products and promotions. Halloween is an excellent opportunity for retailers to catch their customer’s attention and also acquire new customers with spooky, festive online events.
Online retailers who create successful Halloween marketing campaigns do so by integrating engaging, festive content all month long. Many retailers design a scattergun approach, placing teaser content across social media with coupon codes and sneak peeks into flash sales to drive leads to the site. Given how early these expenditures occur, one way to grip users’ interest would be to offer exclusive promotions online, as this is where retailers have the upper edge. It’s much easier to guide your customer to special offers online, using spooky Halloween-themed discount codes to get customers in the trick-or-treat mood. Boost site traffic by keeping up with trends, offering rotational discounts, and introducing festive giveaways.
This is a valuable opportunity to analyze data on which products and selling methods work as there is plenty of room for A/B testing, unique and unconventional promotions and communication, competitive pricing, and online as well as in store events. Dig into holiday sales data to create a profit sales bundle. Your metrics should show what products frequently get purchased together and cover a range of holiday needs all at once. Makeup products, for instance, could be grouped together to recreate a certain Halloween look- track trending pop culture references for an idea of which costume bundles pair. The same can be replicated for haunted home and decor that complement each other in a room, candy sold in bulk with free bags for trick or treating, and more. Offer a discount when these themed products are purchased together.
Finally, an effective promotional tool is to offer free candy, or other Halloween-themed promotional product, with every delivery. It’s a useful method of getting customers to commit to a purchase. You’re essentially providing them with a deadline to avail of the offer, and this way they don’t have to think about filling the pumpkin bucket with goodies for the trick-or-treaters.
Make the most of the spooky season with consumer insights that reflect in your offerings.
Retail Trends and Statistics from 2021 – 2022
With the revival of celebrations last year, there is much to be learned from the new normal of devoted online shoppers and eCommerce sales trends. In 2021, StyleSage and Refinitiv reported a 42% increase in Halloween costumes and accessories online as compared to previous years, with 69% of items on sale and the average discounts for the same hitting 19%. These rates have held up well since pre pandemic levels of 17%, despite more merchandise hitting the market. This year, keep a close eye on upcoming trends: new box office hits, music releases, pop culture moments. Spiderman, the Adams family, and other popular films may drive inspiration for costumes and celebrations overall, and keeping these titles in promotions and offerings could drive sales among the younger demographic.
Candy and ‘trick of treat’ sales for last halloween tell us that consumers always return to their all time affordable favorites this time of year- and consumer loyalty is strongest where candy is concerned. Halloween drove the largest increase in seasonal candy in 2021, and thanks to enthusiastic sales in this period, Mondelez International (of sour patch and Cadbury chocolate) cruised comfortably through their revenue goals, and Hershey was on track to lift their own sales to pre pandemic levels. Dollar sales of Halloween themed chocolates were up almost 50%, and candy 25.8%: possibly owing to bulk buys for affordable trick or treating, since about 16% of consumers indulged in higher end candies as personal treats in this time. Gradually, healthier treat options are trickling into the market, and even major player Hershey released ‘better for you’ confections to meet the growing demand for more wholesome binge worthy candy. Low, no sugar, bite sized, and organic ingredient based candies are offerings to look out for in 2022.
Unlike Christmas, Thanksgiving, and more tradition-driven occasions, Halloween celebrations tend to fall in line with trending themes and popular trends, which often compels consumers to buy fresh decor and costumes every single year. As expected, online Halloween home decor skyrocketed compared to pre-pandemic levels with a 102% increase, owing greatly to habit forming over months of stay at home restrictions. Similar to costumes, however, despite increased merchandise the average discount penetration hit 50%, a small increase from the pre pandemic 44%. Last year however, retailers were cautious of shaving their own margins, offering relatively lower discounts in the face of inflation, inventory issues, and an air of caution surrounding celebrations– things have changed vastly since then, and an understanding of your consumers’ spending habits and popular halloween trends will help advise the best pricing and discount strategy entering Halloween 2022.
Even if you’re not a typical Halloween retailer, festive occasions are always an opportunity to maximize sales. Lately, there has been a lot of noise around creating less waste around the Holidays. This is set to continue this year, so if you have durable goods, reusable decor, or plastic free props, this is the time for your product line to shine.
Major Retailers to look out for this Halloween
Party city hit the 2021 Halloween season confident, claiming to have stronger data and customer insights compared to previous years allowing them to rework their seasonal strategies- and with 90 Halloween pop-up stores established for the season, their revenue increased to $415.5 million, almost hitting pre pandemic numbers of $432.6 million in October 2019.
T.J. Maxx has already released their 2022 Halloween lineup, creeping up on customers with ready to buy spooky pillows and doormats as early as July this year, and full displays being set up ahead of the season. According to ‘Best Products’, leading brand Rae Dunn has themed decor available across most stores, ready for customers digging through assortments of fall and halloween offerings earlier on as the weather gets cooler.
Spirit Halloween is set to change the game with their 2022 release of creepy animatronics– ranging from 6 foot tall humanoid monsters to 3 foot tall spooky characters, all ranging from $149 to $300. With reports already popping up announcing new locations to shop Spirit’s merchandise (as per Spirit’s usual 3 month leases from August to mid November), this beloved pop-up giant is a force to be reckoned with.
Fang-tastic Trends this Halloween
Analyze competitors’ previous Halloween trends. Can you spot any product that might sell out? Be sure you are in a position to provide disappointed customers with an alternative.
As for pricing for Halloween, shoppers will be on the lookout for the best deals, as 17% of shoppers admitted their buying decision was swayed by price last Halloween. However, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to achieve this across the board. This article shows you how you can break free of the endless cycle of undercutting your competitors and instead use our 360°Pricing™ technology to boosts profits by 8-20%.
To stay ahead of competitors it’s essential to deliver dynamic pricing systems to draw potential customers in and hence maximize sales. By using Intelligence Node tools this Halloween, you can implement real-time pricing and catalog benchmarking against competitors, and utilize this agility alongside our AI-led insights dashboard.
There’s a reason that the retail giants are continually investing in AI. The data these provide you with gives you a clearer internal and external view of your business than your spreadsheets ever will. And by choosing to partner with Intelligence Node, you are putting your store in the best possible position to capture and convert leads during the spooky season.
Our products ensure that you don’t need to worry about Minimum Advertised Pricing enforcement guidelines for resellers and multi-retailer websites. The Intelligence Node products make sure that all your sales tactics are above board and that your brand is fully compliant.
If you feel your store isn’t reaching its potential, check and see how our expertise will empower your Halloween marketing campaign. Our real-time competitive intelligence, automatic benchmarking, and price optimization will help you to achieve and surpass targets.