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This Halloween Don’t Scare your Retail Customers Away!

Halloween is the best time to boost business like a pirate. It isn’t as easy as following a map to a treasure chest, but with the right planning and marketing, you can get pretty close. This year Halloween spending is estimated to reach $9 billion with more than 175 million Americans planning to partake. That means it’s time to pull up your peg legs and eye patches and get your spooky game on!

The early zombie gets the brain: September has just ended but the Halloween memes have already begun. When it’s time for everyone’s favorite holiday (besides Christmas of course), people aren’t afraid to plan ahead. People start shopping at least 2 weeks prior to Halloween-leaving you enough time to start planning now. In case you don’t want to give away all the scares away at once, start out with teasers. Stick up posters and flyers in your neighborhood promising something amazing to look forward to. The idea is that when Halloween comes around, the first place they think of for shopping is at your store.

Boo-st your Inventory: To get the most out of this holiday, you’ll need to put the most into it. Although Halloween spending changes every year, what people end up buying remains fairly consistent. Candy, Decorations, Costumes and Greeting Cards are the most popular things bought during Halloween. Set up a stand at your store selling low-effort seasonal food like Halloween cookies or cupcakes. Incorporate fall flavors like apple cinnamon and pumpkin into drinks as well. Since Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year, it’s a great opportunity for those with limited space in their store. Split up with more of trick-or-treating stock earlier in the week and more party themed Halloween decorations on the days leading up to the weekend. Explore more into vintage and novelty ideas, and even if there’s no way to include Halloween products with the theme of your shop, we’ve got several ways for you to celebrate in spirit.

Witch Supplies are on Sale? Bundle up some Halloween-themed products which are frequently bought together and offer a discount when they’re bought. For instance, a witch costume, hat, fake hooked nose, and cauldron basket can be discounted to a certain price when bought together. This eases things for customers trying to calculate individual costs as well as entice them to buy more for a lesser price. It’s also the best way to sell out all your stock by Halloween.

Celebrate through Service: Ideate on how your business or service can be boosted during Halloween without losing the context of the holiday. Getting costumes cleaned can be hard, so if you have a dry-cleaning service offer discounts on Halloween Day. Offer discounts to people who walk into your store dressed in costume and even a car-wash can be turned into a haunted house.

Mummy Wrap your Brand: Effortlessly blend Halloween symbols like dancing skeletons and bats onto your signage and websites. Show your customers your business is engaging the Halloween spirit and encourage them to visit your store through the holiday season. Wrap small candies and treats with your brand name and logo and even offer trick-or-treating bags out with your brand on them.

Skeletons Out of the Closet: On the week leading to the holiday, Halloweenize everything. Draw customers in by picturing what decorations should look like from the outside and make optimum use of windows, walls, and lighting. While carved out jack-o-lanterns are great, try adding a personal touch to the decorations like a banshee wearing uggs if you own a shoe store. Decorate the store with fall colors and put the best Halloween merchandise up at the door. It’s an investment worth making because Halloween decorations can be stored away and reused every year. But at the same time, make sure the decorations aren’t boring and what your customers are used to seeing. Ask your staff to dress up in costumes to build engagement with customers and bring a sense of fun to the store. In fact, you don’t need to do this only on Halloween Day. Get friends, family, and staff to go about their regular lives dressed in costumes ahead of Halloween, piquing people’s curiosity to ask questions- and boost marketing.

The Online Oracle: If your retail store sells mostly online, social media promotion is extremely important. Put up pictures of your products on Instagram, Pinterest and, even Facebook. Spend what you save on decorating a store with great marketing and customer reach-out tools. Offer discount coupon codes to “VIP” customers and add in free Halloween themed gifts on purchases above a certain amount. Hold more online contests, and nudge your email marketing up. You can use a customer engagement tool like this one to help you plan your email marketing. It’s also important to use localized keywords. The term “Halloween Gift Ideas” reach over 10,000 monthly searches in October and bag more than 20 million results so it’s critical to use these. Also, try offering free shipping. More than 60% of customers are willing to add more products when guaranteed free shipping. Ask customers who purchase from you to post pictures of their product to avail a certain discount next time they shop with you-increasing your marketing reach.

Ghoul up with other businesses: Extend a limb to other small businesses for a neighborhood stores Trick or Treat. Partner with other fall or seasonal businesses like apple orchards, cider mills pumpkin patch barns and offer promotions or discounts at these attractions, when people shop at your store. This can boost both businesses mutually. Team up with communities holding Halloween celebrations and themed events and ask them to hand out some of your Halloween branded products.

Host the Grave Games: There’s nothing that attracts attention like a contest. Hold a treasure hunt through your store, or even collaborate with multiple stores in the locality to make it a much larger event. Ask your staff to dress like several characters from history and ask children to guess who they are, or even hold a game of Ghostbusters-put up stickers of ghosts in random places of the store and offer a small gift to anyone who finds one.

Spread word of the contests and competitions through social media and even in your locality. This should get everyone eager to participate. If you hold a Halloween decoration or a pumpkin carving contest, post up pictures of the entries on your Instagram or Pinterest. Social media contests are also a huge hit, and using the right hashtags can get your business boosted to top places and even go viral. You should use popular hashtags such as #Halloweendeals, #trickortreat, #Halloweensales to make your posts more reachable. You can read more about planning online contests here.

Throw a Poltergeist Party: Everybody loves a good party, and if Tim Burton movies have taught us anything, so do the dead. Host a Halloween party for the neighborhood or even your best customers. Games like bobbing for apples and even a scary puppet story session for children could just add to the fun. Get customers to interact with each other and your staff and offer special discounts and sales to those in attendance. This helps create a familial feeling among the guest and improves their overall customer experience promising you a boost in sales.

Stocking up on Halloween inventory, and increasing your marketing reach isn’t exactly easy on the wallet. Fortunately, several alternate financing companies like Reliant Funding are here to help you out with your retail store’s Halloween needs. Apply for a financing solution today as the final ingredient to your cauldron recipe of a fantastic Halloween!

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