It’s that time of year again. The leaves are changing and winter’s just around the corner. But not before everyone’s favorite pre-holiday holiday, Halloween, takes place. Sure, it’s a great excuse to have some fun, even at work, but there’s something more to it that gets people so truly excited and engaged. The National Retail Federation (NRF) has reported that more than 157 million Americans (that’s 64% of the population) anticipate celebrating in some way on the 31st, with spending expected to reach a cool $6.9 billion.
When you think about it, there are lots of emotional triggers connected with October 31st. Childhood memories, feelings of nostalgia, the fun of dressing up, copious amounts of candy, and so on. When it comes to business, it’s these things that retailers are drawing on in creating the kind of shopping and brand environment that puts guests as ease, ready to spend more and encouraged to make impulse purchases.
Shopping, after all, is about catering to emotions, and for retailers, the trick is finding just the right mix to home in on. Here’s a few ways to up engagement and thrill customers, even if they are last-minute shoppers:
Get In On the Fun
Even if your business or products have little to nothing to do with the spirit of Halloween, there’s no hurt in letting loose a bit and getting in on the festivities. Take Tide, for instance. The laundry detergent brand created a series of video clips called Scared Stainless, featuring its product in spooky film reenactments a la the prom scene from Carrie, the ending of Psycho, and Frankenstein’s unveiling. The campaign attracted a lot of positive attention and was a hit on social media, with no one asking, “What’s laundry got to do with Halloween?”
Create a Diversion
It’s no secret that holding a contest and encouraging user-generated content on social media is a great way to engage audiences, boost traffic, and increase brand awareness. Given the high-volume activity surrounding the holiday, Halloween is the perfect excuse to fashion something relevant within your own brand. Take to social and foster a new dialogue; interact with fans and followers by prompting them to share their own stories and experiences. Then, turn it into a friendly competition by created an award for best jack-o-lantern, décor, pumpkin recipe, costume, and beyond.
Offer Spooktacular Sales
Okay, maybe not spooktacular, but you understand. There’s nothing shoppers enjoy more than a deal, and the feeling that accompanies nabbing a good one. Why not use Halloween as a reason to give them that? Whether you choose to do so via a one-day sale, special freebie, social contest, or what have you, it’s safe to say that an e-mail featuring a promising discount offer is certain to get more engagement than you’re used to.
Cash In on Costumes
With 43.5% of Americans planning to don disguises this Halloween, we suggest you join them. The NRF reports that 13.3% of consumers use Pinterest to research costume inspiration, so there’s potential on social, but if there’s a customer-facing physical space in your organization, why not spice it up with a few seasonal decorations? And, where appropriate, encourage employees to partake as well. A set of cat ears or a superhero cape can be a welcome sight in an office, boosting moods and morale, and a fun, and more importantly, memorable connector between customer and representative in the outside world.
Don’t Forget the Treats
Depending on your business, Halloween may even be an opportunity to leverage your partnerships and host or sponsor an event. You might choose to keep certain store locations open later with seasonal celebrations, throw a VIP costume party, or go all out with a haunted house or corn maze – complete with promotional goodie bag, of course. If that’s unrealistic, special promotions and personal correspondence via mail are a nice touch as well, especially leading up to the holidays. And when all else fails, you can at least get in on the treats. After all, who doesn’t love a big bowl of candy?