Halloween is big business. According to the National Retail Federation, 158 million people will be celebrating Halloween this year. Total spending on the holiday is expected to reach $6.9 billion.
Unfortunately, most specialty stores won’t get much of those billions. The bulk of that money is spent on costumes, candy, food, and props. Even so, specialty stores can use Halloween to engage their customers and have some fun with customers and staff.
With Halloween on a Thursday, a lot of adults will be celebrating this coming weekend, when the majority of adult costume parties will be taking place. The kids will be in full Halloween mode this weekend.
That’s why specialty stores might consider starting a “Seven Days of Halloween” this week. Why not? At the very least, start using it this Saturday to engage customers and create some extra energy in the store.
Some tricks and treats and customer engagements include:
* Start using candy and Halloween-themed cookies now to engage customers, but don’t just have them on a plate at the counter. Arrange treats on a Halloween platter and offer them to your customers. This is a great way to engage customers and build connections that can result in a higher conversion!
* Make this weekend a Halloween party. You might even have the staff wear costumes this weekend. Nobody else in the mall will be doing that this weekend… and that’s why you should! You could even have your customers vote on the best costumes.
* Create Halloween-themed signs and specials like “A Scary Great Deal” and “No Trick in This Treat of a Special.” Don’t forget that bundling is another way to increase sales and average ticket.
* Start posting the daily “Scary Good Deal” or something like that on Facebook. Encourage – and even reward – customers to come into your store on their way to a party this weekend. Take pictures of your customers (with their permission, of course) and post them on Facebook.
* Run a children’s costume contest on your Facebook page. The customer’s picture that gets the most post wins. (You’ll be amazed what adults will do to get Likes for their children’s pictures.) Do make sure you have parental permission to post any pictures of children, and make sure you’re in compliance with Facebook rules.
* Have a Halloween in-store drawing for a prize or gift cards. Proactively collect customer names and email addresses for the drawing. Afterwards, email them a $5 gift card/certificate to use for the holidays. All treats!
* Have a special gift or treat for any children of customers who come into the store between now and Halloween.
* Hold a Halloween-themed potluck lunch for the staff this weekend, and maybe do something special for the staff on Halloween.
* Hold a Trick or Treat contest this weekend for the staff. Highlight particular products or sales building activities; the employee who scores the most on those “Tricks” wins a prize.
Let’s say that one of your Tricks is getting people to try on shoes. The employee who gets the most pairs of shoes tried on per hour wins a prize. Another Trick could be selling a particular phone or leaf blower. Each product or activity is its own little contest for the day or weekend.
You can also give out Treats by hitting different sales milestones for the day. For example, your store has a $5,000 sales goal on Saturday. When the store hits $3,000 everyone gets a small treat, maybe a candy bar. When the store hits $4,000 everyone gets another, more valuable treat, perhaps a small gift card. A big treat is awarded at $5,000; that one might be money or a gift card.
Do everything you can to make sure this weekend delivers lots of treats for your staff, your customers and, ultimately, your register. There’s no trick to it, you just have to make it happen.