How to Make Killer Halloween Sales

We’ve all been seeing the funny memes online about how consumers are already shopping and getting excited for the spooky season, and brands seem more than willing to accommodate all of the buzz. As retailers continue to line their shelves with Halloween and autumn-themed products, we’ve got some tips to help you make the most out of the season.

An Increase in Halloween Spending

In 2022, the NRF reported Halloween participation returned to pre-pandemic levels, and this year should be no different. Its annual consumer survey found that 69% of consumers were planning to celebrate the holiday in 2022, up from 65% in 2021 and comparable to 68% in 2019. 

Capital One research confirmed NRF’s consumer predictions, reporting that Americans spent $10.6 billion in total for Halloween 2022. Over $3 billion was spent on Halloween candy alone. Total nationwide retail spending for the holiday increased by an estimated $500 million, or 5% year-over-year (YoY). Twenty percent of this YoY growth was due to increased total spending on candy. 

Here is a breakdown of the average American consumer’s budget, according to Capital One:

  • The average American had a $100.45 budget for Halloween 2022 supplies, such as costumes and candy.
  • American households each spent an average of $29.51 on Halloween candy in 2022.

The Biggest Area of Halloween Spending

While candy is definitely a huge driver for holiday spending, unsurprisingly, the NRF found that costumes account for the biggest area of Halloween purchases. Here’s a breakdown of what Americans bought in in 2022:

  • Americans spent a total of $3.1 billion on candy.
  • Shoppers spent a total of $3.6 billion on costumes, up 9.09% YoY. $700 million was spent on pet costumes.
  • Americans spent a total of $707.98 million on pumpkins.

Halloween Shopping Statistics

Similar to recent years, Halloween enthusiasts usually start their shopping early, with nearly half (47%) beginning in September or earlier, according to NRF. Capital One found that the rest of the population begins shopping during the first two weeks of October. 

Here are some shopping statistics that Capital One found from 2022:

  • 40% of shoppers sourced their Halloween supplies from discount stores.
  • 36% of consumers reported shopping at specialty Halloween and costume stores.
  • 31% of consumers shopped online in preparation for Halloween.
  • 28% shopped at grocery stores or supermarkets and 25% shopped at department stores for Halloween supplies.
  • Craft and fabric stores and clothing stores each served Halloween shoppers at an average rate of 13%.
  • Thrift stores and resale shops attracted an average of 10% of Halloween shoppers.
  • Small and local businesses, home improvement stores, and greeting card/gift stores each served 9.0% of Halloween shoppers.
  • Drug stores and home improvement stores each served an average of 8.0% of Halloween shoppers.
  • 3.0% of consumers bought Halloween supplies from catalogs.
  • 45% of consumers began shopping for Halloween in September or earlier.
  • 16% of Halloween consumers didn’t begin shopping until the last two weeks of October.

Tips for Killer Halloween Sales

Whether your customers are going to start their Halloween shopping early or right before the holiday hits, here are some tips to make sure your store is fully prepared:

  1. Get All the Displays Ready. Whether you are readying your window displays or ecommerce website, ensure that all displays and online designs are ready by the time consumers want to start their shopping. September is only one month away, so now is the time to prepare. Get crafty with pumpkins, dress your mannequins in costumes, fill up some jars with candy and sprinkle them around your store, and work black and orange colors into your website designs. All of this can make shopping a little more magical for your customers and can encourage more purchases.
  2. Macabre Marketing. While most other holidays become stressful with family gatherings and gift-giving, Halloween offers a relaxing and fun atmosphere for consumers to do whatever they want. Focus your advertising on how your store can add to the fun, and even chime in with some of the creative TikToks to show off your products.
  3. Participate in Community Events. If your local town or state hosts any special Halloween or fall-themed events, be sure to make an appearance to boost brand awareness. You can do this by renting out a booth or simply purchasing some advertising with banners or signs.