The spirit of Halloween should include bewitching themes, ghoulish vibes, jack-o’-lanterns, and costumes. But besides a fascinating and thrilling holiday, Halloween is also a very profitable event for retailers and eCommerce businesses. In 2022 alone, 69% of U.S. consumers celebrated the occasion with a $100 average spending per person. To understand the tricks of the trade and lead their brands to soaring success, retailers should consider the latest seasonal trends, in this case, Halloween. The best way to get the hang of consumer behavior and shopping habits is through data and information offering guidance for future decisions. This blog post delves deep into the latest Halloween statistics to shed some light on how a business can operate effectively and yield lucrative results.
Introduction to Halloween statistics for retailers
Over the ages and the centuries, the beloved eerie and spooky holiday has become one of the most commercialized events of the fiscal year. It may have started as a religiously originated festival, but time has transformed it into a night full of mischief and chaos on a worldwide scale, surpassing the US borders.
Last year, in 2022, the anticipated Halloween expenditure was estimated at $10.6 billion in the US and £687 million in the UK, so it’s fair to say that last year’s spooky season was a roaring success for the retail sector. Halloween statistics prove that the market is back to reaching pre-pandemic levels, marking a new era. Shoppers and consumers may face inflation-induced financial instability, but their spirit is alive.
Setting the stage for retail success
As a billion-dollar sector within the retail industry, a comprehensive grasp of Halloween statistics is a critical component of retail prosperity. A meticulous examination of these data offers crucial insights into consumer behavior and preferences, such as identifying the average spending budget per household. This year’s estimations are even more impressive than last year’s numbers, with significant increases in various aspects of consumer behavior. According to NRF, the projected spending will be $12.2 billion, and 73% of U.S. consumers are eager to celebrate the most spooky season of the year.
However, retailers should take into account the rising inflation-driven costs of living. Therefore, communicating cost-effective promotions and products can be a lifeline for any retail business willing to capitalize on the opportunity. By analyzing statistics, retailers can make informed future decisions, optimizing their marketing strategy from inception to execution and therefore increasing their sales and their customer base.
Why Halloween statistics matter for retailers
Seasonal marketing offers many advantages for retailers, making it a strategic endeavor worthy of consideration. But for retailers to come up with creative Halloween ideas to incorporate them into actionable marketing plans, they must first collect data and information.
In this case, Halloween presents the prospect of increased sales, leveraging the hype and the FOMO of the festive spirit to encourage impulse purchases among customers. Additionally, Halloween is a potent tool for brand building and well-crafted Halloween marketing efforts can enhance brand recognition and awareness. The deployment of seasonal products can also be helpful for increased foot traffic during typically slower periods preceding the crucial holiday quarter.
Halloween statistics: A journey through history
Halloween boasts a fascinating historical tapestry that stretches back to ancient times, offering valuable insights and useful facts for retailers to craft tempting campaigns. To gain a comprehensive historical perspective that informs retail benefits, we can dissect this retrospection into several sections, each filled with facts and statistics from different eras.
Historical background of Halloween: A retail perspective
Halloween originates in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain (summer’s end), a tradition that traces back over 3,500 years. The festival symbolized the last days of the fall harvest, and it was believed that the veil between the living and the dead was at its thinnest at the time. Through migration and cultural exchange, the test of time has transformed a traditional Irish holiday into the unique American version of Halloween.
The cultural evolution of Halloween has impacted different sectors of the retail industry besides candy, decorations, and costumes. The Halloween market has influenced the media and pop culture and has inspired a lot of different social gatherings, like parties, haunted houses, and attractions, as well as community events.
How traditions have shaped Halloween shopping trends
Comprehending the historical aspects of Halloween equips retailers with a profound understanding that can shape their business strategies. Today, Halloween has firmly established itself as a critical shopping season, providing a considerable boost to retailers in anticipation of the holiday quarter. By integrating Halloween’s rich tapestry of traditions and statistics into their marketing endeavors, retailers stand poised to harness the full potential of this thriving shopping season.
The evolution from Celtic roots to a U.S. retail phenomenon
Halloween’s evolution from its Celtic roots to its contemporary retail prominence is a captivating journey and has wielded considerable influence on shopping patterns. As the Irish sought refuge from the devastating potato famine of the 1840s, they carried their cherished Halloween customs. This tradition gradually permeated the nation’s culture, culminating in a peak of mischievous Halloween pranks during the 1920s, specifically in 1927. It is widely believed that community-oriented trick-or-treating gained popularity in the 1930s to manage these pranksters’ shenanigans.
Moreover, It was also in the early 1900s that a paper goods company named Dennison Manufacturing Co. The company played a pivotal role in popularizing Halloween. From 1909 to 1940, the retailer was the primary mass producer of Halloween postcards, costumes, and decorations in the U.S. Today, Halloween stands as a formidable $10.6 billion industry in the United States alone, attesting to its significance in the retail landscape.
Last but not least, the custom of trick-or-treating has been around since the Middle Ages, named “guising” in Ireland and Scotland. Nowadays, this fun custom has propelled candy to the forefront of the Halloween shopping frenzy as the most renowned way to celebrate the occasion. Simultaneously, the age-old practice of adorning homes and yards has spawned a thriving $3.4 billion industry in the United States centered around Halloween decorations.
From Jack O’Lantern to modern-day retail symbolism
The Jack O’Lantern, an emblematic Halloween tradition, has undergone a fascinating transformation. Stingy Jack, an Irish man, outwitted the devil, resulting in his exclusion from heaven and hell. As a punishment, he wandered the Earth, bearing a lantern, which gave rise to the moniker “Jack of the Lantern.” At first, people crafted turnips, beets, and potatoes to fend off malevolent spirits, but now, pumpkins have emerged as the preferred carving medium. These iconic pumpkins retained their protective symbolism and became a popular choice for decorating homes and businesses during the Halloween season.
Halloween sales peak: Essential statistics for retailers
As we go through the importance of Halloween through intriguing facts and statistics, it becomes clearer that this holiday casts a powerful spell on the retail and eCommerce realms. For retailers to illuminate the complexity of the ever-changing consumer patterns, it is necessary to examine all the different ways we celebrate Halloween.
Halloween statistics: Consumer habits and behavioral data
Every new fact tells a different story and responds to specific segmented demographics, habits, and preferences. Ergo, retailers must stay updated and understand the personas they wish to accommodate to offer products and services that will satisfy the demand. So take a look below and learn more about your customers!
- The collective spending on decorations, a trend that gained momentum during the pandemic and still holds sway with consumers, is projected to reach a substantial $3.9 billion.
- Among those partaking in Halloween festivities, over three-quarters, amounting to 77%, intend to buy decorations. This number remains consistent with the previous year but demonstrates an increase from the 72% recorded in 2019.
- Around 45% of consumers are planning to start their Halloween shopping as early as September or even earlier.
- Households without children are aiming to allocate an average of $73.57 for Halloween expenses, accounting for 49.1% of the spending observed in households with children.
- A third of parents believe that 13 or 14 years old is an appropriate age for their children to go trick-or-treating without adult supervision.
- Halloween house fires result in approximately $11 million worth of direct property damage annually.
- A substantial 72% of Americans express interest in the prospect of purchasing a haunted house as their residence, although fewer than half would be willing to pay the full market value for such a property.
- There are approximately 41.7 million potential trick-or-treaters, including children aged between 5 and 14 years old.
- 28% of Americans are planning to host Halloween parties.
- The annual revenue generated from ticket sales for haunted attractions surpasses $300 million, with 80% of these attractions being organized by charitable organizations.
- Halloween greeting card spending is estimated to reach $500 million, showing a slight decrease from the $600 million recorded in 2022. Despite the slowdown, this figure still surpasses pre-pandemic levels.
How Costume and Candy Sales Shape the Halloween Retail Landscape
Costumes and candy are the backbone of Halloween, all over the world and not only in the U.S. So we had to dedicate an entire section to these two customs as they form and embody the spirit of Halloween.
- A substantial 5.3 million adults and 1.6 million children are planning to dress up as witches for Halloween.
- Among children, 4.6 million will opt for their favorite superhero costume, while 1.9 million are set to become their favorite princess.
- In the year 2022, Americans collectively invested $3.6 billion in Halloween costumes.
- During the same year, 47% of adults chose to partake in Halloween by dressing up in costumes.
- Just under 10% of surveyed shoppers expressed their intention to spend more than $250 on their Halloween costumes.
- Pets are the new soulmates, and this fact proves it. A noteworthy 20% of consumers have plans to dress up their pets for Halloween.
- The favored Halloween costumes for pets include bat, pumpkin, hot dog, witch, and bumblebee outfits.
- Additionally, a staggering 1.7 million adults are set to dress in vampire costumes for Halloween.
- Anticipated candy spending is set to surge to $3.6 billion in 2023, representing a notable increase from the previous year’s $3.1 billion.
- Halloween candy holds a special place in the hearts of Americans, resulting in significant expenditures during such a creepy holiday. Approximately 600 million pounds of Halloween candy are purchased annually.
- Two-thirds of Americans have intentions to distribute candy to trick-or-treaters on Halloween.
- An overwhelming 86% of parents confess to indulging in a bit of candy stealing from their kids’ Halloween stashes.
Decoding the Golden Quarter of Halloween Retail
The Golden Quarter, the busiest time of the year in the grocery, retail, and eCommerce sector, kicks off precisely 100 days before Christmas on September 16th, 2023. With adept planning and execution, retailers have the opportunity to secure a substantial share of their annual profits by achieving success during this pivotal period. While stores may launch their holiday marketing campaigns earlier each year, this early start is a deliberate strategy aimed at maximizing results.
During the third annual State of Retail & the Consumer virtual discussion, the National Retail Federation (NRF) unveiled its annual sales forecast, where prominent retail executives, leading economists, and consumer experts came together to provide a view of the American retail industry. The forecast for 2023 anticipates a growth rate of 6.5% in retail sales, compared to the 7% growth recorded in 2022, when sales reached $4.9 trillion. This projection, although slightly lower, still surpasses the pre-pandemic average annual retail sales growth rate of 3.6%. These impressive numbers reflect the resilience and strength of the retail sector and offer promising prospects for retailers and marketers alike.
Halloween Statistics: US and UK Retail Perspectives
Comparing the Halloween markets in the US and UK reveals interesting trends in consumer behavior, favored products, and historical spending patterns. Highlighting the shared enthusiasm both in the US and the UK, these comparative insights offer intriguing points of convergence and divergence between the two markets that are worth mentioning.
The Halloween Retail Landscape in the US and the UK
In the United Kingdom, consumer spending on Halloween products has exhibited remarkable growth since 2013, more than doubling during this period. In 2021, the UK saw an estimated total spending of over 600 million British pounds, underlining the increasing enthusiasm for this spooky celebration. Halloween in the UK has evolved into a holiday that embraces all aspects of horror, spookiness, humor, and fun. Having eclipsed Guy Fawkes Night, currently, Halloween ranks as the third most lucrative holiday in terms of generating profits, following Christmas and Easter.
Across the Atlantic in the United States, despite the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic on retail in 2020 and 2021, Halloween remained a lucrative season. In 2021, the average Halloween spending per person was anticipated to reach a record-breaking high, exceeding 100 U.S. dollars. Shoppers in the US explored a variety of venues for their Halloween needs, including discount stores, online webshops, and specialized Halloween and costume stores.
Both the US and UK share a common Halloween tradition: the pumpkin. Carving pumpkins to create Jack-o’-lanterns is a beloved custom in both regions. In 2021, just over 145 million Americans planned to partake in this pumpkin-carving tradition during the Halloween season.
Celebrating Halloween: US vs. UK Retail Trends
Despite their shared spooky theme, Halloween and its UK counterpart, exhibit distinctive differences that influence various retail sectors and cater to distinct customer demographics.
In the realm of Halloween, characterized by its four primary pillars—candy, costumes, decorations, and pumpkins—Brits tend to show a greater affinity for candy and costumes, prioritizing these aspects over extravagant decorations. While the tradition of trick-or-treating originally emerged from Scotland and Ireland through the “guising” tradition, it has become more prevalent in the United States.
Moreover, in the U.S., costumes extend beyond scary portrayals, often encompassing less intimidating choices such as princesses and superheroes. On the other hand, in the UK, the themes lean towards the eerie and macabre, featuring ghosts, zombies, and other supernatural creatures. Furthermore, when it comes to Jack-o’-Lanterns, Scots and Irish tradition lies in the use of rutabagas or turnips as carving materials.
Interesting UK Halloween statistics that impact retail
Contrary to the US, Halloween is not that widely celebrated in the UK. However, it is surely catching on pretty quickly, bringing some interesting facts and statistics to the table.
- Over the past few years, there has been a significant surge in Halloween spending, with expenditures in 2001 totaling a mere £12 million.
- However, the UK still lags far behind the United States, where Halloween spending soared to approximately £8.6 billion in 2021.
- Among the key spenders during Halloween are parents with children under the age of 5, accounting for a substantial 85% of the total expenditure.
- A significant majority, around 80%, participate in Halloween celebrations by purchasing sweets to distribute.
- Of the total expenditures, 40% is allocated to sweet treats.
- Moreover, in 2021, one in five Brits planned to provide treats to trick-or-treaters, with Snickers emerging as the most favored sweet treat for the occasion.
- When it comes to Halloween costumes, the average family of three shells out an average of £122.55.
- Men, on average, spend £33.10 on their costumes, while women allocate approximately £67.80 for their Halloween attire.
- Despite the willingness of Brits to invest in Halloween, a significant majority, totaling 63.2%, consider it more of a commercial opportunity rather than an authentic festival.
Halloween statistics: Leveraging business opportunities
Halloween promotions provide a canvas for creativity in marketing strategies, enabling engaging interactions with customers. As a result, employing Halloween statistics in business strategies proves invaluable, so that professionals can pinpoint the areas (namely the products) of focus and their target groups. The escalating competition in Halloween displays can be harnessed by retailers, offering Halloween and autumn-themed products that resonate with this trend.
Strategic inventory management and personalized content for Halloween
Fortunately, there are numerous strategies to harness the Halloween excitement and maintain a competitive edge. A valuable tactic would be to repurpose and manage your existing inventory resourcefully. Transforming autumn-inspired products that suit the Halloween spirit can prove to be a budget-friendly approach for capitalizing on the festive season.
One of the most effective means of communication involves the promotion of the offerings with the power of Halloween email marketing. This channel provides an exceptional means of conveying spooktacular offers to a retailer’s customer base. Of course, all visuals, text, and promotions have to match the spooky spirit with vibrant colors.
To ensure that Halloween 2023 is not only unforgettable but also commercially prosperous, retailers have to invest in a personalized approach that will resonate with the preferences of their customer base. AI-generated product recommendations, cross-selling, and upselling opportunities will arise from this opportunity, and a powerful omnichannel customer engagement platform will prove valuable to this process.
Marketing strategies to boost Halloween sales
Depending on their respective sectors, retailers can strategically introduce Halloween discounts and promotions to stimulate sales and entice customers. To shed some light on the hottest celebration plans of the season, the lion’s share goes to candy (68%), decorations (53%), costumes (50%), pumpkin carving (46%), and, of course, parties (32%).
Data analytics can aid retailers in identifying trends based on consumer insights adjusting branding strategies to suit the season, and implementing location-specific targeted marketing initiatives. Regarding social media, businesses can promote user-generated content to increase brand awareness and word-of-mouth. On a more personal level, past behavior through unified customer profiles will aid professionals in targeting their audience with tailor-made offers.
Incorporating themed decor into retail strategy
Transforming the store or website into a Halloween-themed space can cultivate a festive ambiance, attracting customers seeking the holiday spirit. Hosting Halloween raffles adds an interactive and enjoyable dimension to customer engagement while driving visits to the brick-and-mortar store or the e-shop. Lastly, integrating Halloween-related hashtags alongside a branded hashtag can extend brand awareness within the local community, leveraging the Halloween buzz. These tactics, guided by Halloween statistics, enable retailers to optimize their approach and capitalize on the seasonal opportunities presented by the Halloween hype.
Halloween Statistics: Analyzing 2022/2023 Trends for Retailers
Analyzing last year’s Halloween numbers and anticipating the new trends in 2023 will provide retailers with valuable insights, enabling them to adapt to the fast-paced retail and eCommerce environment. The key is to meet the evolving needs of the customer base and implement data-driven business decisions to maximize their Halloween season profits.
A recap of Halloween trends in 2022
Looking back at the Halloween trends of 2022, it becomes apparent that consumer behaviors and preferences went through substantial changes. Let’s delve into the key trends that left their mark on Halloween last year.
- Halloween shopping patterns constantly change, and consumers start their preparations earlier every year, with 10% of celebrants preparing their holiday agendas before September.
- Last-minute shoppers are going for the final two weeks of October and are estimated to be 15% of the consumers.
- Social media is the most trusted tool for ideas and inspiration, with Facebook and YouTube holding the reins. Pinterest and Instagram are also widely used for costume ideas and decorations.
- Approximately 13.5% of shoppers seek costume inspiration from recent TV shows or movie releases.
- 12% turn to older TV shows or movies for their costume ideas.
- About 11.49% opt for costumes inspired by current social memes and trends.
Predicted retail trends for Halloween 2023
As we prepare for Halloween 2023, several anticipated retail trends are expected to define the season and set the tone for the upcoming years. These trends encompass:
- In the U.S. 54% of Millennials and 30% of the Gen X population plan to celebrate Halloween.
- 68% of the consumers will visit the store and buy in person, 65% will buy online and pick up at home, while 31% will opt for BOPIS (buy online, pick up in-store).
- 44% of the customer are planning on using promotional coupons and searching for bargains for their Halloween items.
- In total, the general economic turbulences will impact 73% of the U.S. population and their Halloween expenditures.
- 26% state that they take Halloween into account when they plan their holiday budget.
Halloween statistics: Unique facts and success stories
Exploring some cool facts about Halloween can be an intriguing opportunity to leverage the holiday vibe to the fullest. Accordingly, learning from the best and taking advantage of some interesting ideas can create compelling strategies for retailers.
Leveraging fun facts about Halloween
The more you know about Halloween, the easier it is to define your strategy and work toward your business goals. Let’s take a look at some interesting trivia.
- The record for the world’s fastest pumpkin carving time is 24.03 seconds and is held by Stephen Clarke.
- The orange and black colors of Halloween have a deeper meaning than anticipated and are associated with the holiday’s tradition. Orange symbolizes the harvest of autumn, while black is the symbol of darkness. Combined, they serve as a reminder of the festival’s origins, signifying the boundaries between life and death.
- Pumpkins belong to the fruit category, rather than the vegetable, as they come from flowers.
- In the past, the goal of certain Halloween rituals was oriented towards finding a husband.
- Trick-or-treating was temporarily paused during World War II due to sugar rationing.
- The Guinness World Record for the most lit jack-o’-lanterns on display is 30,581, and it is held by the City of Keene, New Hampshire.
- Halloween and Dia De Los Muertos are not linked in any way. Halloween centers on darkness, death, ghosts, witches, candy, and costumes. In contrast, the Day of the Dead is explicitly focused on the afterlife and the act of remembrance.
Learning from the best: Successful Halloween marketing campaigns
Creative inspiration is an important part of the holiday campaign planning process and the marketing efforts of a retail business. Below, we delve into some of the most successful Halloween marketing campaigns executed by industry leaders for additional insights and ideas.
KFC: Cursed Colonel
In 2019, KFC in Australia launched a Halloween campaign called the “Cursed Colonel.” Partnering with Menulog the two brands provided customers a 25% discount on KFC orders nationwide. The campaign included surprise deliveries by individuals dressed as different versions of the Colonel, including Zombie, Werewolf, Skeleton, and Vampire Colonels, along with “Jack-In-A-Buckets” that surprised customers with false snakes.
Kit Kat: The candy bowl that never runs out
Kit Kat is embracing the Halloween spirit with a marketing campaign that promises a delightful surprise for every child, making their wish for endless candy true. In this campaign, when the candy bowl is empty, it magically replenishes itself. For more interaction and boosted social media engagement, Kit Kat has encouraged people to submit a request for the candy bowl’s visit to their hometown via Instagram.
Airbnb: A Night in the Catacombs
Airbnb invested €350,000 to rent the Paris catacombs as part of their “Night in the Catacombs” competition. The winner would be granted an overnight stay amidst seven million skeletons, a complimentary dinner and concert, and a chilling bedtime story session. The campaign’s prestige and exclusivity widely attracted participants, as it offered the enticing chance to become the sole living person to wake up in the Catacombs.
Lego Star Wars and Disney+: Terrifying Tales
Halloween saw a powerful collaboration with three giant franchises working hand in hand, namely Lego Star Wars, and Disney+. Their “Halloweenstream” campaign features a Halloween special and five amusing short films, starring beloved Star Wars characters This partnership highlights the potential for brands to boost their impact during holidays through creative collaborations with like-minded brands.
Other useful Halloween Marketing resources for retailers
- 20 creative Halloween retail promotion ideas
- 5 Halloween Email Campaign Ideas to Hallo-win the Impressions this year
Conclusion: Halloween Statistics as a Tool for Retail Success
Halloween statistics serve as a valuable tool for achieving retail success and making the most out of this festive season. Decoding the evolving trends, consumer preferences, and historical significance of Halloween provides retailers with the insights needed to tailor and enhance their overall marketing strategy. From early shopping patterns to the influence of pop culture, these statistics empower retailers to navigate the excitingly spooky landscape of Halloween retail and establish their presence in the market.
By harnessing the power of Halloween statistics, retailers can carve out their own path to success and make the most of this spooktacular season. Do you think you are ready to take your eCommerce brand to the next level this Halloween? Contact us today to discuss how ContactPigeon’s growth experts can help you scale and achieve your business goals.
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