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 sending to hit $8.8 billion.

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

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

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

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Halloween preparations: 3 major steps to earn big

We offer to split the preparations 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 prices. 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 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. You can do it with the help of the 2 handy tools – GTmetrix and PageSpeed Insights by Google.

In case your score is some 90+ points, you’ll most likely survive the Halloween shopping spree. However, it’s lower than 80, you’d better work on the recommendations. Scared? Well, don’t be. Both native Magento 2 and vendor tools provide for optimization. You just need to choose what suits you best.

More and more people worldwide prefer to shop using their mobile phones. Mobile e-commerce revenue is projected to hit $3.56 billion in 2021 (Statista). So make sure your store has a fast-loading mobile version. To make it possible, you might also consider going for progressive web apps (PWAs). Note that our Magento 2 modules are compatible with them.

Optimize desktop and mobile Magento 2 with ease!

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. Satisfied? Then we move on.

 Cover all SEO needs with just one tool!

3. Plan your Halloween marketing campaign

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

google trends halloween

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 offers us some ideas about the ideal set-off time for planning 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, it’s better to start them in mid-October.

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

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

Puzzled? Let’s have a closer look.

Halloween mood

Halloween is the one and only holiday combing 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

The main thing here is to do just enough. Obviously, launching a new Magento theme featuring zombies, vampires and what’s not is not a smart move. The holiday just takes 1 day, while due implementation of this effort is costly in terms of time and money. Besides, a colorful theme may be heavy for your backend and make the store lag.

There are simpler solutions at hand, for example, Halloween Banners for Magento 2. Creating a banner is far simpler than working on a whole theme. You just need to draft a catchy promo to put onto your banner. Just a useful hint: people gladly react to freebies, however small.

Choose from 20+ ready-made flexible promos or create your own!

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.

Make your landing pages SEO-friendly with no extra efforts!

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 for 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 Groove Studios)

And the like.

In case you prefer simpler language for your promos, you can limit Haloween 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

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.

Send event-based follow-up emails automatically!

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. You can go even further – see the box below.

Create personalized promotions relying on customer attributes!

9. Go for cross-sales and up-sales

Halloween makes an extremely relevant holiday for cross-selling and upselling. Why so? Let’s turn to stats again.

According to NRF’s survey of Halloween shopping trends 2019, 68% of Americans plan to celebrate the holiday this year, and about 50% of them 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.

Save your shoppers’ time offering related prods in one place!

10. Spread the magic with Magento free gifts

So you’ve sent out some coupons and started a Halloween sale? Great, but that’s not all you can do.

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” (Loyalty Barometer Report 2019). The gifts don’t need to be pricey at all. You can offer candies, some small holiday symbols like pumpkins, cookies and the like. And you can even offer shoppers to choose a free gift.

Besides, you can help customers’ spread the spooky Halloween spirit to their loved ones. How so?

Let customers send gift certificates by mail or by post!

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 reach a specific threshold, say $100. This will help you not only increase your revenue but also motivate customers for repeat purchases.

Offer conditional free shipping and increase profit!

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.

So how can you do it in your Magento 2? Check the box below.

Spread FOMO all over your store!

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.

Look at the box below.

Enable customers to comment on product pages via Facebook!

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

After Halloween 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 these sales have for you?

14. Recover cart abandoners

You can make another attempt to motivate cart abandoners 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 aback 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% 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. How to do it? See the box below.

Make return management easy for shoppers and admins!

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.

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