4 Ways to Capitalize on Consumers’ Halloween Spending

From candy to costumes, Halloween can bring in big bucks for small businesses: The average celebrant will spend $72.31 on assorted Halloween-related products this year, according to the National Retail Federation. Total Halloween spending is estimated to reach $6.86 billion.

Although much of that money may go to seasonal specialty stores, such as Spirit Halloween, your company can cash in, too. Here are four ways to attract the trick-or-treat crowd.

  1. Create a Halloween display. No matter what you sell, you may stock products suitable for use as Halloween decorations, costumes, or foodstuffs. Highlight anything that’s orange or black and products with ghost or monster themes. Perhaps your hardware store sells all the makings of a front-lawn graveyard, or your salon can provide an array of creepy nail designs for the occasion. Show off your relevant offerings in a prominent display.
  2. Host a Halloween party. Drum up business by inviting your customers to a costume party a few days before the big night. Put up festive decorations, serve ghoul-themed treats, and sponsor a costume contest with one of your highest-valued products as the prize. Think creatively when planning your party. For example, if you own a pet-supplies shop, hold a costume contest for animals instead of people — and post photos from the event on your website.
  3. Offer in-store trick-or-treating. If your business is located in an area that gets a lot of foot traffic, plan to pass out candy in custom goodie bags (branded with your store’s name, address, and website). Post a sign in your window to let neighborhood trick-or-treaters know that you’ll be hosting Halloween visitors. Although this method is unlikely to result in immediate sales, it’s a great way to get your store’s name out to neighborhood families.
  4. Create a Halloween-centric side business. If your primary business doesn’t really fit with Halloween, it’s not too late to build another income stream around the holiday. Consider offering decorating services, DJing for parties, or doing costume design and modification. Advertise your services on Craigslist and in local papers.

About Kathryn Hawkins

Kathryn Hawkins is a principal at the content marketing agency Eucalypt Media. She's written about business, marketing, and entrepreneurship for publications including BNET, TheAtlantic.com, Inc.com, and owns and operates the positive news site Gimundo. Follow her on Twitter at @kathrynhawkins.
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