Today’s Halloween is far from the good old trick-and-treating. It has turned into a large pool of opportunities and benefits for retail, including e-commerce. Here are some stats: the National Retail Association projects the holiday spending to hit $8.05 billion.

We bet you’d love to get a slice of the pie.

However, making a profit on Halloween sales requires extensive preparations. Worried?

Don’t be! We’ve prepared a to-do list for you to follow.

Halloween e-commerce preparations: 3 major steps to earn more

preparations

We offer to split the preparations for the Halloween promotion into 3 groups. The first one covers the store functionality and appeal to potential shoppers. And what makes the core of the two? It’s not the design and even the Halloween discounts. It’s the page loading speed.

1. Make sure users don’t wait too long

In fact, over 90% of shoppers leave a site if it fails to load in 5 seconds, and only a 100-millisecond delay in loading will hit you with a 7% fall in conversions.

So you have to make sure your store is not going to scare off the shoppers with snail-like loading speed. First of all, check how fast it is.

In case your score is some 90+ points, you’ll most likely survive the Halloween shopping spree. However, if it’s lower than 80, you should work on the recommendations.

How to work on Magento 2 speed optimization for successful Halloween sales?

The first thing you should start from is to go through all the errors PSI shows and fix them. Our extension can help you do it without diving deep into the code.

2. Reveal yourself to customers

Bingo! You’ve optimized your store and made it load swiftly. Now you have to make sure your customers find it on the internet. This effort calls for another optimization – the SEO one.

This goes beyond simply using keywords. To hit the 1st page in Google search, you’ll need to create rich snippets to boost your product visibility, use meta tags effectively, and more. In fact, the scope of work is large.

If you’ve already optimized your store for search engines, you can just check how it ranks in Google.

What Magento 2 SEO extensions can help you run Halloween promotion?

This Magento 2 SEO extension will help you spread the word about your Halloween discounts for a larger organic outreach. Use advanced pagination and redirects, rich snippets, meta tags templates, automated cross-linking, HTML, and XML sitemaps to help Google bots and users see your pages on SERPs.

Then, make sure that users can find desired products on your website easily. For this, you need to make sure you provide clear navigation on your website using menus, filters, and search tools.

How to use Magento 2 Mega Menu for Halloween promotions?

Magento 2 Mega Menu can draw attention to your Halloween promotion. Using this extension, you can add promo banners into categories that participate in the sale or mark them with a catchy label.

What filters to enable in Magento 2 Layered Navigation extension for Halloween sales?

Magento 2 Layered Navigation extension allows your customers to filter products and find Halloween-related ones. Create handy promo filters and enable AJAX to speed up the process of search. For example, you can let users filter products in the category using a special “Halloween Sale” filter.

Let Magento users shop by brand

If you offer discounts on a specific brand during Halloween sales, your Magento visitors may find the Shop by Brand functionality of use. Allow shoppers to find products of their favorite brands, implement unique brand pages with the history, product lists, and other related information.

Don’t forget to add a search tool to your Magento 2

If you don’t want to fail your Halloween promotion, don’t forget that some users prefer Magento 2 search over filtering tools. To implement it into your store, you can either use Magento 2 Elastic Search plugin or Advanced Search.

And finally, you need to check if the customer journey is as smooth as possible, so your traffic will successfully convert into purchases. Here we recommend checking 2 important apects: your checkout page and the information about your offline shops.

Improve Magento 2 checkout

Updating your Magento 2 checkout will help you not to miss any lead from the Halloween promotion page. Our One Step Checkout extension allows you not only to optimize the checkout process and reduce redundant fields but also customize the page design.

Let users find the nearest shop using Magento 2 Store Locator

If you run Halloween sales both online and offline, Magento 2 Store Locator will help you connect online and offline points of sales and navigate customers to the nearest offline store. This may be useful for people who found an interesting item on your website but want to touch and try it before the purchase.

3. Plan your Halloween marketing campaign

Let’s have a look at the graph from Google Trends:

statistics

We see that the number of search queries for “Halloween” has started to grow in late August, and the trend is likely to continue up to the big day. This suggests us about the ideal set-off time for planning a Halloween marketing campaign – late September. This is a good time for stocking up some Halloween-related goods. As for holiday promotions, social media campaigns, and holiday emails, you’re free to choose the right time for the preparation, as all you need is to decide on the unique offer for this Halloween. Also, it’s always a good idea to enable as many extra sales channels as possible. Upload your products on Google Shopping, Amazon, Bing, Facebook marketplace, eBay, and other marketplaces to spread a word about your deal all over the web.

How to generate Magento 2 Product feed with items on Halloween sales?

Using Magento 2 Product Feed, you can inform your audience about the Halloween sales on the most popular marketplaces. This extension allows you to generate feeds automatically via cron and upload them right to the needed server.

Prep work done, we can proceed with the actual Halloween preparations.

What are the key elements of a successful Halloween marketing campaign? The mood, the offers, and the after-sales.

Puzzled? Let’s have a closer look.

Halloween mood

mood

Halloween is the one and only holiday combining the mysterious and even spooky atmosphere with that of fun. So creating this unique atmosphere is one of the major tasks during the Halloween sales. How to do it? We offer some tips below.

4. Create a thematic spooky storefront

How to create a custom Magento 2 theme for the Halloween promotion?

Obviously, launching a custom Magento 2 theme featuring zombies, vampires, and what’s not just to highlight Halloween sales is not a smart move. The holiday just takes 1 day, the campaign can last up to a week, but the preparation of the visual materials and their implementation can take too much time and money. But we have a solution, by using our Jet theme, you can easily change the main colors of your store to dark ones and enable a colorful banner slider with a catchy promo.

Highlight products on Halloween sale with Magento 2 Product Labels

Magento 2 Product Labels is a handy tool to draw attention to promoted products. Design catchy labels with ready-made shapes, upload images created by designers, or use text-only format. Choose whatever option suits you best.

5. Create Halloween landing page

Halloween is a profitable holiday, and yet it’s not as big as Christmas, for example. In fact, it takes only 1 day (a weekend in some cases). So it would be unreasonable to put all your team’s efforts into remaking your store design. Instead, you can simply create a separate Halloween category and place all relevant goods there. To add some spices, you can create a separate landing page.

6. Use the appropriate holiday language

Halloween is one of the not-so-common holidays that allow you to be less serious. Remember, your main task is to catch the customer’s eye and motivate them to purchase. The proper language may become your powerful ally. Here are some examples:

  • Bow down, witches, it’s 3 for 2 on Halloween! (Accessories)
  • CARNEVIL! Win a trip for four to New Orleans Mardi Gras! (Strongbow Cider)
  • Get spooktacular savings in our Halloween SALE! 25% off everything! (Aspen Grove Studios)

And the like.

In case you prefer simpler language for your promos, you can limit Halloween in them to visual elements. But always make sure your promos contain 4 critical pieces of information: When? What (is going to happen)? Where (it’s usually the site address)? What are the benefits?

Halloween marketing campaign

marketing campaign

So the store is prepared to deal with traffic upsurge; it’s easily detectable on the internet and properly emBOOlished for Halloween. Now it’s time to turn to marketing.

7. Spread the word with marketing emails

Emailing is the core of the Halloween marketing campaign. Before the big date, inform your registered customers about Halloween sales and promos they can expect this year. Again, don’t forget to be scary and spooky. Here you can use a specific email layout and even emojis.

To spark customers’ interest, add some Halloween coupons to the greeting email clearly indicating till when the coupons are valid.

As the holiday is short (only 1 day), regular follow-up emails reminding the customers about the sales-to-come and their ending date will be useful.

How to protect your Halloween promotions newsletters from getting into spam?

When sending newsletters with Halloween promotions info, don’t forget to configure Magento 2 SMTP. Otherwise, your emails are risking getting into the spam folder. Our extension supports 12 preset SMTP providers, but you can make custom configurations if needed.

8. Offer targeted Halloween promotions

RetailMeNot reports that around 67% of customers are very likely to make an unintended purchase when they are provided with some discount. The main point here is to make an offer to the right audience. How to do it?

First of all, consider your sales reports to single out the most purchase-prone customer groups. Create separate promos for different customer groups. If you have enough time, you can do customer research to get to know your shoppers better.

How to create a Magento 2 custom form?

To perform customer research during your Halloween sales, you need to create a Magento 2 custom form. With our extension, you can use 20 different elements, pre-made templates, and themes to design your questionnaire. Export submitted data in CSV and PDF formats to analyze it for further promotions.

How to run personalized Halloween promotions in Magento 2?

You can launch Halloween Promotions in Magento 2 by creating cart price rules that target different customer groups. Our Special Promotions extension supports 16 advanced promo rules based on the cheapest/most expensive products, quantity steps, cart subtotal, and spent amounts that you can use on your website.

9. Go for cross-sales and upsells offering Magento 2 related products

Halloween makes an extremely relevant holiday for recommending related products in Magento 2 stores. For example, according to NRF’s survey, over 50% of Americans will decorate their homes or wear Halloween costumes. Halloween decorations are numerous, and costumes usually have several elements. This makes these items relevant for cross- and upselling.

10. Spread the Halloween magic with Magento 2 free gifts

So you’ve sent out some coupons and started a Halloween sale? Next, you can implement Magento 2 free gifts to increase the average cheque. The gifts don’t need to be pricey at all. You can offer candies, some small holiday symbols like pumpkins, cookies, etc. And you can even offer shoppers a free gift.

In fact, 61% of customers state that “the most important way a brand can interact with them is by surprising them with offers or gifts just for being a customer”.

Let customers spread the Halloween spirit with Magento 2 gift cards

Adding Magento 2 gift card functionality can significantly increase your Halloween earnings. According to researchers, 58.8% of respondents will be glad to receive one as a gift, and 72% of people who got a gift card spend more than a prepaid amount of money.

11. Don’t forget about free shipping!

According to The Future of Retail 2018 report by Walker Sands, 79% of customers go for a purchase in case they are offered free shipping. Some retailers avoid offering it, as in case it is free, all shipping costs are incurred by the seller.

However, there are some ways out. First of all, you can offer free shipping for products with low shipping costs. The other way consists in offering free shipping on condition that the order value reaches a specific threshold, say $100. This will help you not only increase your revenue but also motivate customers for repeat purchases.

12. Create the feeling of urgency

On the spooky day, you’ve got one more chance to motivate customers – create the fear of missing out, clearly indicating how long they have left till the sale ends. In fact, not only FOMO makes customers make a purchase. It’s also their strong belief that they are going to get something valuable. According to Statista, scarcity techniques resulted in a  2.9% increase in revenue-per-click in 2017.

13. Go social

Emails are not the only channel for Halloween marketing. Social networks make another powerful medium.

The main point here is not to overdo. Making each and every social media post Halloween-themed is pointless – you’ll only wear out your potential customers. At the same time, 1-2 posts featuring Halloween starting from mid-October won’t do any harm.

Make sure to mention your planned promotions in the posts. This might bring you some new customers.

Another good idea for Halloween SMM is running a contest. You can ask users to provide any type of content related to Halloween – photos of their home decorations, Halloween meals or costumes, even themed poems. You just need to create a buzz and attract user-generated content (UGC). For this matter, you might also use another option.

So we are through with the Halloween marketing campaign. Now it’s time for the final element – the after-sales.

After Halloween sales

after sales

The holiday has just gone, you’ve earned more than enough… but you still have a lot of Halloween inventory you won’t possibly need up until the year 2020. What to do? Throw an after-Halloween sale! Shoppers love such events, as holiday-related products get really cheap. They can be used next year or reused during any other holiday. According to NRF, about two-thirds of Americans looked forward to Christmas after-sales.

So what other pros do these sales have for you?

14. Recover Magento 2 abandoned cart

You can make another attempt to motivate Magento 2 users who abandoned carts during Halloween sales for shopping, and you may succeed, as after-holiday sales are fairly generous – 75-90% off. You can recover cart abandoners, sending an email with a coupon. Or you can take them back by offering a discount right when they are trying to exit your Magento 2.

15. Profit from returns

During the holiday sales, people often make impulsive purchases they return the day after. Moreover, Narvar reports that 41% of customers actually buy products with the intent to make returns. It’s not that shoppers are dishonest – they just buy a product in several sizes or colors and return those that don’t fit (“bracketing”). Nevertheless, for retailers, returns mean less profit. But giving them up is not possible, as for 96% of customers “easy returns” are the key reason for making a comeback to the store.

So dealing with returns is inevitable. However, you can make it smooth and fast using the RMA extension.

How to retain customers with Magento 2 out-of-stock notification?

If your Halloween promotion was successful, you may have some out-of-stock products. Use Magento 2 notifications to inform potential customers when they are available again and don’t miss any customers.

On a final note

Halloween preparations need a lot of time and effort. However, there’s a silver lining here.

For e-retailers, Halloween makes the start of the whole holiday season with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas sales ahead.

So preparing for Halloween, you partially reduce the work for other upcoming holidays and events.

Worthy effort, isn’t it?

Do you have any ideas on Halloween preparations? Please comment below to share them.