October is around the corner and Halloween is the first big chance to jumpstart your holiday marketing and get ready for the biggest months of the year. But your 2020 Halloween marketing campaigns have to be a little bit different than past years. COVID, of course, has forced retailers to make huge adjustments to stay open and continue to serve their customers. 

So let’s take a look at a few different Halloween marketing strategies for retailers across the country. Taking the time now to plan ahead will make your holiday a bigger success and bring more shoppers through your doors.

  1. Think Beyond Black Friday
  2. Host a Party
  3. Trick-or-Treat
  4. Have a Contest
  5. Incentivize Great Costumes
  6. Join a Community Event
  7. Use a “Guess How Many” Jar
  8. Add Halloween Themes
  9. Dress Up Your Store
  10. Have Staff Dress Up

1. Don’t Just Focus on Black Friday Sales

Too often retailers only put effort into planning their Black Friday and Cyber Monday retail sales. While these are critical dates for having a successful holiday season, the rest of the fall and early winter is equally important. Halloween consumer spending was estimated to be nearly $9 billion in 2019. 2020 will likely be comparable. 

Unfortunately, it’s a consumer holiday that is forgotten about by retailers. Even if your business isn’t a Halloween-specific retail destination, there are still plenty of ways to get in on the fun and get your shoppers excited. And with a third of consumers planning on starting their Halloween shopping by early September, it’s important to be prepared early.

2. Host a Halloween Party

Having a store event is a great branding opportunity no matter the time of year. It offers small businesses the opportunity to get to know their customers on a more personal level and hang out in a more friendly manner.

You don’t need much of an excuse to host a small party. Just make sure you include some food and drinks while also making it Halloween themed. Encourage your staff and guests to wear costumes. And make sure to offer free products that will remind your shoppers that they need those items throughout the rest of the year.

3. Open for Trick-or-Treating

On the big night itself, get your team together for trick-or-treating, especially if you’re in an urban area. Parents who have happy kids because they stopped by your store will be much more likely to come back to shop with you down the road. 

As always, encourage your staff to join in on the fun and show off their creativity with great costumes and help decorating the space.

4. Organize a Contest

Going one step further, host a contest at your store for best costume. Advertise it beforehand so kids and parents know to stop by. You can host the contest during trick-or-treating or during your business’s party. 

Pick out a great prize or two for the top contestants. Don’t break the bank, but try to offer something big enough to incentivize participation and more guests coming into your store.

5. Add Halloween Marketing Campaigns with Great Costumes

Reward shoppers who look the part. Offer gifts, promotions, discounts, etc. for those guests who come in decked out in a great costume.

Even better, get them signed up for your retail loyalty program in the process. This will help with future marketing efforts and get them back into your store soon.

6. Join Community Events

Neighborhood events are another great way to reach a larger audience and build your business’s brand image. The fall season usually features several city, state, or local community events that businesses can take part in. Sign up for a booth, sponsorship, or volunteer opportunity at one this fall.

7. Put a “Guess How Many” Jar Out

Adding small games in your store during the Halloween season is another way to get your customers engaged during the shopping experience. A “guess how many” jar is a time-tested method. 

Just throw a jar full of candy corn (who actually eats it anyway?) in a huge jar and toss it on the counter. Just make sure to accurately count it up beforehand. Add a pad that guests can write their name and number on. Even better, request an email or other contact information so you can add them to your email/SMS marketing lists. Remember how important frequent communication is to help drive more shopper loyalty.

Add the jar near your retail POS system and include some last-minute Halloween related impulse purchases, too. Candy or small accessories are easy options.

8. Add a Halloween Theme to Your Products

Running a Halloween promotion isn’t just reserved for the Party Citys of the world. Pretty much any retailer can join in on the fun.

  • Coffee shops can offer Halloween themed drinks
  • Bakeries can make pumpkin cookies or pastries
  • Gift shops might sell costume accessories
  • Pet stores should offer dog and cat costumes
  • Liquor stores could promote a Halloween cocktail and sell all ingredients in a bundled deal

Of course, just make sure any promotion involving food or drink follows COVID-related guidelines from the CDC and local authorities.

9. Dress Up Your Store

Don’t forget to have fun with Halloween decorations. Deck out your storefront and sidewalk area. Put up decoration in the windows and add a sign advertising any contests, promotions, or events.

Do the same online. Add Halloween themes to your eCommerce shop. Again, advertise all upcoming events and promotions.

Finally, advertise it all on your social media profiles, too. For those guests that don’t feel comfortable about attending your store in person during COVID, social media-based contests are a great opportunity for them to still participate. Encourage people to share photos on your Instagram and Facebook pages.

10. Encourage Staff to Dress Up

And get your team in on the fun, too. If they’d like, encourage them to dress up on Halloween or during Halloween weekend. It’s another easy way to help foster more engagement with your shoppers. And it lets them add a bit of their own personality to their job.

Check out the rest of our blog for more advice on how to handle the holidays. With 2020 Black Friday coming up, Halloween is a great opportunity to test out some ideas and be sure that you’re staying within COVID guidelines. And click below to learn more about KORONA.

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