It’s a Scary Good Time to Start Online Holiday Promotions Now

We’re several weeks out from Halloween, but yes, it’s time to start talking about holiday shopping in general.

Halloween is considered as the official kick-off to the holiday season by many retailers. As the first real fall holiday event, it gets consumers excited and puts them in the spirit for the coming months.

A survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF) shows that Halloween is expected to be big this year. According to the survey, seven in 10 Americans plan to celebrate Halloween this year, the most in the survey’s 10-year history. Total spending on the holiday is expected to reach $8 billion, with each person spending about $80 on costumes, decoration and sweet treats.

And, it’s not always about us people. According to USA Today spending on Halloween costumes for pets is expected to hit a record $370 million this year- the industry’s fastest growing segment.

Retailers are often caught trying to balance trick-or-treat between back-to-school and Christmas, missing the opportunity that Halloween consumer spending affords. This year’s solid numbers for Halloween spending translate into an excellent opportunity for retailers to start promoting their other holiday wares as well.  While many retailers jumpstart their holiday campaigns at the end of October or early November, holiday merchandise can be found in their stores as early as September. So why wait?

If someone is standing in line at your store with ceramic pumpkins and looking at Christmas ornaments, then why not create the same offline experience online. That same person who’s buying that ghoulish ghost costume for little Fido on your website is probably just as interested in a cute Santa’s elf ensemble for Christmas. I’m just saying.

And here’s some frighteningly even better news. You can personalize the online holiday shopping experience even more by incorporating IP targeting into your promotions. For example, you can automatically display this year’s hottest selling pet toys in visitors’ local areas, or show the nearest store locations in case FiFi needs a personal fitting for her new holiday sweater, or even link to community holiday pet events.

Retailers from pet stores to home centers to specialty shops should take advantage of the growth in Halloween and make it an integral part of their online marketing calendar. Those who promote the holidays with ads, for example, will likely catch the attention of the 70 percent of consumers who are already planning to spend this Halloween.

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