How to Win at Halloween E-Commerce During COVID-19

MediaGo Staff | 10/06/2020

As if 2020 hasn’t already thrown us enough curveballs, we’re now on the cusp of a holiday season where people will be reluctant to spend time in close proximity with friends and family. At first glance, Halloween should be one of the hardest-hit holidays of the bunch. For those of you who’ve been stuck indoors for months, allow us to remind you: Halloween is traditionally celebrated by partying with groups of friends, and by literally taking candy from strangers. It’s hard to imagine a less COVID-friendly holiday, but the data says otherwise.

According to a recent survey from Shopkick, 65% of millennial parents will still allow their children to go trick-or-treating this year. And while 84% of everyone surveyed said they plan to do their Halloween shopping in-store, it’s important to keep in mind that a large percentage of younger shoppers prefer to buy their candy and costumes online. Furthermore, 45% of survey respondents said they’re planning to hold virtual Zoom parties for Halloween. So even if COVID-19 puts a damper on in-person trick-or-treating, this year is still shaping up to be a big opportunity for Halloween e-commerce.

For the advertisers and marketers out there looking to make the most of this year’s Halloween sales season, here are our tried and true tips for Halloween e-commerce campaigns:

Tip 1: Freebies, Freebies, Freebies

It’s a universal truth that people love free stuff, and this couldn’t be truer than during Halloween – the holiday where it’s expected to give away and receive things for free. What better way to pique your customers’ interest than by scratching that itch?

For e-commerce advertisers, we recommend offering a free gift with the purchase of a Halloween costume or mask (with a minimum purchase price cutoff for eligibility). Low-cost accessories like plastic vampire teeth, glasses or necklaces can work well. Although you might be inclined to give away free candy, we suggest sticking to non-edible items. Keep in mind that a lot of shoppers are very specific about their candy preferences and won’t be wooed by free, off-brand sweets.

Tip 2: DIY Landing Page Content

Halloween is a holiday that thrives on DIY projects. From making spooky snacks to carving your own pumpkin, people love putting their own personal spin on Halloween. That’s why this is the perfect opportunity for marketing DIY products and content.

Halloween DIY

If you’re targeting mid- or bottom-funnel customers, it might make sense to put together a landing page on your website to share Halloween-themed recipes or party planning advice. Not only will this drive organic traffic to your page, but it will also offer a convenient opportunity to show off your product(s) in action.

As we mentioned in a previous post, creating a sales page that tells a compelling story about your product and then includes an add-to-cart link directly at the bottom of the page is one strategy to drive conversions.

Tip 3: Referrals and Coupons

Halloween is a fleeting, transitory holiday. It doesn’t bear the emotional weight of Christmas or Thanksgiving, and a lot of Halloween purchases are just used for one night and then discarded. Because of this, Halloween shoppers are more inclined to look for good deals rather than long-lasting, high quality products. 

As an e-commerce marketer, you can capitalize on this consumer mindset by offering gifts cards and coupons to your customers. This can be done through a referral link that existing customers share with their friends, or a one-time discount for new customers. No matter what type of marketing tactic you choose, it’s always a good idea to keep thrifty customers in mind during Halloween.

We hope this primer on Halloween e-commerce strategies helps you drive more sales this year. Have a great Halloween – whether you’re trick-or-treating in person or keeping it virtual!