Halloween Marketing: Tips and Inspiration for Your Online Shop

halloween marketing for online shops

Halloween is just around the corner once again. This holiday has its roots in Britain, but has become quite popular in the US during the 20th century and, in recent years, it has become more common across other European nations including Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands. So, with Halloween coming up, your online shop should be thinking about Halloween marketing! Even if your online shop doesn’t sell creepy products, you can still take advantage of this holiday with a small budget. We’ve got some tips for you!

European Sales Holidays 2024 & 2025  Different countries = different holidays. Download calendar

How is Halloween celebrated in the UK and across Europe and why should you care? (statistics)

TV shows and movies have taught us that Halloween is very popular in the United States. However, the origins of the holiday date back to pagan times and has its roots in Celtic societies.

Considering the long history of this holiday, it can be difficult to trace where every tradition started, but in the UK, certain children’s games are associated with Halloween. For example, bobbing for apples, telling ghost stories and carving faces into vegetables (like swedes, turnips, and pumpkins).

In other European countries, many children have begun adopting the American tradition of going door-to-door and “demanding” candy.

One thing is for sure: spending for Halloween has gone up every year. In the UK alone, we see that spending reached over £600 million. Estimates showed spending went up to nearly £700 million in 2022 and approached £800 million in 2023.

retail expenditure on halloween products in the UK

Source: Statista

Around Europe, where Halloween traditions are fairly new, the holiday seems to be getting more and more popular. However, it’s worth noting that every country still has their sceptics. Despite that, nearly half of the Polish citizens (45.4%) surveyed in 2019 see Halloween as a fun holiday.

Polish opinions on Halloween 2019

Source: Statista

Although there are plenty of sceptics (at least in 2019), there is evidence that the popularity of Halloween is changing rather quickly. In the following chart, we can see how attitudes in Sweden have changed between 2019 and 2021. Take note of how many people planned to not celebrate the holiday in 2019 (50%) compared to 2021 (36%).

Swedish spending on Halloween 2021

Source: Statista

Although some countries need a little longer to warm up to Halloween, it’s apparent that it’s more popular than ever before. As we could see in the statistics for spending in Sweden, certain industries can benefit from the holiday. E-commerce businesses that sell the following should consider Halloween marketing for their online shop:

  • Costumes & makeup
  • Clothing
  • Party decorations
  • Pumpkins (and other seasonal vegetables, e.g. swedes, turnips)
  • Candy/chocolate

Expanding to new markets?  Think globally. Act locally. Download checklist

With that in mind, let’s have a quick look at where Halloween marketing makes sense for your brand:

Where can you use Halloween marketing?

Many industries can get involved in Halloween marketing. Here are a few methods you can use to inspire your target audience:

Newsletter

We say it again and again. Any sales or holiday event should be accompanied by an email campaign of some sort. If you run a newsletter, take this opportunity to dress up your emails with a Halloween twist- orange and black, pumpkins, bats, fake blood, and ghosts (We’ve got some more inspiration in the next section).

Social media

Of course, social media is the easiest place to promote and participate in holiday celebrations like Halloween.

For example, you can do giveaways, or ask a question such as: "What are you doing for Halloween?" to inspire more engagement. Ask them to use branded or unique hashtags.

You can also ask your followers to send photos of your products in a Halloween atmosphere. You can also share recipes with your products, or maybe a DIY project.

In the next chapter, we'll show you some fun examples!

Got a physical store? Organise something!

You can also organize a small Halloween party at your physical store. A spooky shopping evening, for example, or a pumpkin carving workshop! Do you sell food and do you have a physical store? Give a workshop on cooking with pumpkins, or hand out pumpkin snacks in your store.

pumpkins and jack o'lanterns

Shutterstock/Alexander Raths

At the very least, you can put up some decorations and highlight your most “Halloweeny” products in your window displays.

Make your online shop creepy

Back in the digital world, you’ll simply have to decorate your website. Let bats chase the mouse, let Count Dracula welcome the customer in a video on your homepage. The level of dedication is up to you. A simple banner can also draw attention. Don't forget to include the colours orange and black.

Recommended reading:
How to Create a Gift Guide That Will Inspire Your Customers

You can also create a special category for Halloween products and highlight this dedication landing page towards the top of your homepage. This way, everyone can find those products really easily.

Before you continue looking at some Halloween marketing examples, make sure you download our European holidays calendar. It gives you an overview of all the major holidays in the biggest European markets:

European Sales Holidays 2024 & 2025  Different countries = different holidays. Download calendar

Halloween marketing examples

Now that you know where you can market your Halloween products, let’s look at some past examples from other brands for some inspiration.

Stock "horror products" in your assortment (temporarily)

Do you sell clothes? Maybe you can sell T-shirts with a bat on them. Do you sell vases? Perhaps a vase with a jack-o-lantern would be a nice addition. Do you sell toys? Sell cute ghosts, such as the emoji, as a stress ball or in the form of a pillow.

Check out this example from Snipes. These sneakers weren't necessarily created with Halloween in mind, but spiderwebs are an easy connection to make, right?

example of snipes Halloween marketing

Source: Snipes (facebook)

Halloween campaigns without Halloween products

Maybe you don’t have the opportunity, time, or inclination to put some of your specific products into a Halloween assortment. That’s no problem either.

Simply decorating your products in a Halloween photoshoot can be enough to inspire people to buy, especially if you’re offering a discount. Check out this example from Dottyfish:

example of Dotty Fish Halloween marketing

Source: Dotty Fish (facebook)

User generated content for Halloween

Again, Halloween is growing internationally. One of our Dutch clients, Xenos, is an expert at running user-generated content. In many of their campaigns, they’ll not only tag the user who submitted the image, but they can also tag the products as well, making it easier for followers to buy those products.

Using customer voices to sell more  Learn how user-generated content benefits your business Download whitepaper

If you click on the Facebook post below and open it in the Facebook app, you’ll see clickable “Buy me” icons hover over the products. Clicking on them will take users to the product page in the Facebook shop.

example of Xenos Halloween marketing

Source: Xenos (facebook)

Share a Halloween recipe or DIY instructions

Half the fun of Halloween are the decorations and the treats of course. Share knowledge with your target audience. This might lead to direct sales as well as some more followers. Check out what Thomas Ridley did on their Instagram account:

example of Thomas Ridley Halloween marketing

Source: Thomas Ridley (Instagram)

In short

If you’d like to get involved in promotions during the holidays, Halloween is a fun and sometimes cheap way to get started.

The most important thing is that you consider how much effort (and budget) you want to invest in it. In addition, it is important that you keep an eye on your target group. If you mainly sell to seniors, this may be a less popular holiday.

And don't forget: have fun with what you do! Creating and coming up with promotional materials is a lot of fun for the creatives among us, so if you're having fun, your materials will show it!


European Sales Holidays 2024 & 2025  Different countries = different holidays. Download calendar

This article was originally published and adapted from our Dutch blog: Halloween-marketing: tips en inspiratie voor je shop

16/08/23

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