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Halloween Glamour: US Retailers and Manufacturers Ready to Celebrate

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Pumpkins have been gutted and carved, spider webs are covering the front lawns of every neighborhood, and children are gearing up for the spooky season of the year. Halloween is almost here, and whether you're preparing for next year or cramming in some last-minute marketing, there's a lot to celebrate in this year's festivities.

Although summer hasn't officially ended, the Halloween retail push has begun. Many major retailers are already selling Halloween merchandise, Spirit Halloween stores are sprouting up, and candy manufacturers have unveiled their lineup of Halloween-themed treats for this year. Retail analytics will help retailers receive the treat of increased sales and revenue with better forecasting.

According to a National Retail Federation (NRF) survey, 69% of consumers plan to celebrate Halloween this year, indicating a 4% increase from 2021. According to the NRF, it is estimated that Americans will spend a record $10.6 billion, breaking the previous year's record of $10.1 billion.

In a press release, NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay stated, "Halloween is an exciting time for many families, and that enthusiasm is reflected in the number of Americans who plan to celebrate the holiday season this year."

No one takes Halloween more seriously than self-identified Halloween fanatics who spend thousands of dollars on decorations, costumes, and larger-than-life animatronics each year. Consumers are likely to spend an average of $100 on candy, costumes, and decorations during the holiday season. And CPG Analytics will be a key driver to help brands make the most of the Halloween shopping season and hit the sales floor significantly.

While Halloween isn't something that most CE retailers plan for, there are a few niche ways to capitalize on the holiday, such as featuring fancy electronic decorations or stocking bags of Halloween candy in checkout isles. Decking out your store with cutting-edge electric Halloween displays will captivate the attention of customers and likely increase the amount of time they spend inside your store.

Increased appetites for Halloween and related festivities could be attributed to the pandemic's constraints in both 2020 and 2021, driving consumers to more readily embrace every opportunity to participate in shared celebrations following lockdown periods prohibiting such celebrations. As consumers' appetite for the spooky season corresponds to increased spending plans, retailers and manufacturers are compelled to seek ways to cash in.  Analytics for manufacturing will play a vital role in Halloween celebrations as manufacturers will have a better understanding of pricing elasticity, shopper behavior, channel dynamics, and other changing market conditions.

An American seasonal retailer, Spirit Halloween opened a record 1,450 pop-up stores across North America this year, and the company has more than doubled its retail locations in the last decade. The company announced plans to hire over 35,000 seasonal employees this year, mirroring the hiring season for Halloween last year.

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Spilling the Beans: Here’s What’s in Store this Halloween

Scary Tricks & Tasty Tricks: Trick-or-treating is a key contributor to one of the holiday's most profitable categories: candy. Given the increase in comfort with participating in public activities, it appears unlikely that COVID would affect trick-or-treating regulations in most parts of the United States, but it's still possible.

A recent study reveals that over 54% of parents will allow their children to go door-to-door this year while others are not fully sure to allow their children to trick-or-treat.

The majority will prefer in-store shopping instead of online: The seasonal shopping experience is part of the fun of Halloween. With COVID concerns off the table, Halloween is expected to bring significant foot traffic to brick-and-mortar stores this year.

Over 80% of people who are shopping for Halloween candy and decorations will go to stores rather than shop online. However, online Halloween shopping has surged dramatically over the last five years, with only 5% of Halloween shoppers shopping online in 2018, compared to 17% today.

Most U.S. adults hand out chocolate/ candy treats: Mixed treat bags or Mini-candy bars are still the most popular options, but 30% of participating households will give out full - or king-sized candy bars to some lucky kids (and parents). Candy and chocolate reign supreme, with only 5% of treat-givers planning to distribute potato chips, fruit, or nuts.

Not Just for Kids: Millennials (ages 18-34) are the most likely adult generation to celebrate the holiday. They spend $42.39 on average, compared to $31.03 for all adults. Millennials intend to flaunt their expensive costumes at parties, a trend that has grown 10.9% since 2006.

Dress up like a Hero: According to the NRF's top costume survey, consumers' preferred Halloween costumes are shifting from "princess" to "superhero." This includes Rey from Star Wars, the Supergirl television series, and an upcoming Wonder Woman reboot. Not surprisingly, pop culture is brimming with action-hero inspiration for both girls and boys. By implementing analytics solutions, brands will be able to evaluate shopping preferences for Halloween easily.

Mapping the Halloween Customer Journey

According to the NRF study, 35% of consumers will shop using online resources whereas 29% of consumers will visit stores to find their perfect costume. Furthermore, social media will play a significant role in impacting today's Halloween consumers.

Pinterest and Facebook, in particular (tied at 17%), will influence many costume shopping decisions. Other sources of inspiration include friends/family (19%), pop culture (16%), and print (14%).

Regarding shopping destinations preferred by consumers, 47% of shoppers will choose to visit discount stores while 26% will vouch for Halloween/costume stores. Additionally, 26% of shoppers will visit supermarkets/stores, 23% will prefer shopping from department stores and 22% will shop online.

Retailers and manufacturers will use a combination of email, direct mail, mobile, digital display, print, and social media, as with many omnichannel campaigns. Savvy direct marketers will increasingly use custom audiences within major social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to target their best customers and prospects.

Closing

With around five million Australians expected to celebrate some spooky silliness this festive season, Halloween will help retailers and manufacturers build sales momentum in the run-up to Christmas.

At Polestar Solutions, we help retailers and manufacturers target shoppers with our data-driven approach and advanced technology. Get in Touch with our Data Experts today and see how we can help you scale growth using predictive analytics, consumer data, etc.

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