Monday, 29 October 2012

Spooktacular opportunities at Halloween

If you are a seller of sweets and treats, fancy dress costumes, food and drink, pumpkins and gifts you can expect an obvious BOOst in consumer spend this Halloween and Bonfire Night, but retailers who think that they will not benefit from the events should think again.

A recent YouGov Sixth Sense study has revealed that people in the UK are expected to spend in excess of £650 million celebrating Bonfire Night and Halloween this year.  But it also found that only 23 percent of UK adults are set to participate in the festivities, spending an estimated £268 million on Halloween alone. A slightly greater percentage of adults (29 percent) expect to participate in activities to celebrate Bonfire Night, held on Monday 5th November, spending an estimated £386 million—mostly on fireworks (12 percent) and food and drink for parties (12 percent).

The results from the YouGov research show that while a significant amount of money is expected to be spent on Halloween and Bonfire Night this year, currently only a small percent of the population is actively spending. What this means for retailers is that there’s scope to convert more consumers into shoppers at this time of year. And you don’t have to sell scary costumes to make a killing either.
An obvious example is a pet store, which could promote products to calm pets who may be distressed by fireworks. Petmeds, for instance, currently has a Bonfire Night landing page promoting its dog-appeasing pheromone products and herbal remedies for relief of anxiety and nervousness in pets.

Another, perhaps not so obvious example is a camera retailer, which could encourage customer engagement by running a competition for the best fireworks photo. The competition could be promoted via email and social media to generate brand awareness—and potentially sales.

For apparel retailers, how about an email to promote winter coats to keep revellers warm at a Bonfire Night party? Even kitchenware retailers could get in on the act by promoting social media campaigns such as vote for the best pumpkin pie recipes. Marie Chantal, an upscale retailer of childrenswear, has joined in with the spirit of things by inviting customers to send in their children’s drawings. All pictures will be featured on the brand’s Facebook and Pinterest pages. The best one wins a prize.

These examples are just the tip of the iceberg and show that retailers have a big opportunity to get more people spending and make the most of these two new key dates in the calendar.--JD

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