Retailers Miss #Halloweekend Opportunity

Sierra Sterler

For a holiday associated with colors that glow in the dark, motion-detecting lawn ornaments that cackle, and costumes and candy for revelers, you might expect that Halloween-oriented promotional campaigns would be obvious for retailers and marketers. It may be an easy theme to play off of, but unlike seasonal specialty stores, it seems major online retailers are keeping Halloween promotions in the shadows.

For example, the chart below shows the number of posts with Halloween mentions from retailers’ Facebook pages from September through October of 2015. Williams-Sonoma had the largest portion of Halloween-related posts at 22 percent, and a few merchants haven’t mentioned Halloween in their Facebook posts at all.

Looking at screenshots of retailer homepages, the size and placement of Halloween promotions has also been quite muted—especially considering the holidays are right around the corner.

The biggest reason for our surprise is that this year Halloween falls on a Saturday. It isn’t relegated to just an evening—it’s a #Halloweekend. This means two things. Consumers will have two full days to shop, and there will be more Halloween parties for both kids and adults. In a recent survey by BevMo!, 70 percent of adults said they were more likely to celebrate Halloween this year because it will be on a Saturday. So not only will Halloween parties across the country need decorations, candy, and other themed food and drinks, but consumers will have more time to observe the occasion, making #Halloweekend the opportunity to kick off the unofficial launch of the holiday season.

Opportunities for Retailers with Non-Halloween Products

Retail events are no longer limited to special occasions, but even smaller holidays need not be ignored—it’s time to capitalize on them. For Halloween, retailers can distinguish themselves from the competition with data-driven innovation in both marketing and product assortment. The eCommerce arena is fast-paced, with almost instantaneous feedback from the biggest and most engaged market players to date. What we’ve learned from Amazon’s Prime Day is that now more than ever, there is an opportunity for retailers to create their own holiday shopping events—either in reaction to online sentiment or entirely new and surprising to consumers.

With so many channels for reaching consumers, promotional campaigns are on the rise, and retailers are coming up with ways to differentiate themselves online. As Amazon has shown, innovative promotional techniques seem to be paying off. Using tools like Quad’s application, including 14+ product-level insights and a promotional database with screenshots and searchable text, can help you distinguish your business and get ahead of the competition.

Sierra Sterler