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  • Writer's pictureClaire Elbrow

Six marketing ideas for retailers this Halloween.

Tricking, treating, spookily good costumes, ghoulish ghost hunts and eating our way into sugar oblivion at Halloween are traditions now solidly embedded into our UK calendar. It’s not just for the kids either, as adults are spending more each year.

According to retail statistics, Halloween is luring more and more people towards its festive and spooky spirit. UK consumer spending for Halloween products almost doubled since 2013, and as of 2018 sits at a comfortable 419 million Great British pounds.

As it’s a holiday for celebrating all things horrible, haunted and hilarious, Halloween spend ranges from decoration to clothing, confectionery and food, so there is pretty much an opportunity for everyone!

As a small business or retailer, you might just be tempted to avoid all the Halloween hullabaloo, but perhaps embracing the spirit of the holiday would be more fruitful!

We’ve had an office brainstorm and here are our ideas on how you can help prevent your business from being a ghost town this year.

- Gang up!

There’s bound to be plenty going on in your local town so team up and make your business a Halloween destination. If there is a grand trick and treat going-on, join in and if not, talk to your fellow businesses and start one! Make your town and shop a trick and treating zone.

If kids are not your primary target audience, fear not as they have parents and carers who will need to accompany them on their journey. It’s an excellent opportunity to give the adults a good feeling about your business and your place in the business community. Why not offer some adult treats too!

If things are going on in the town, make sure you are advertising them, sharing them on your social media feeds and are getting behind them. They will be bringing people into your town who might just drop by!

- Get out your goblins!

Just decorating your shop is such an easy win! It’s fun, festive and pretty simple! Put out pumpkins, ghosts and goblins in your shop window, and it will be noticed! Why not play some spooky Halloween tunes throughout the days leading into Halloween.

- Hold a pumpkin carving contest

Kids can be do this at home, so panic not! Ask for entries for a couple of age groups and offer a decent prize or a store discount! Display the entries and winners in your shop window for a little extra feel-good.

A further thought – you could link up with your local pumpkin provider and sort out some sort of reciprocal deal for your pumpkin purchasers.

- Devise some spooktacular Halloween deals

It’s obvious, but people do love a bargain! Offer something which has some relevance to Halloween, and you could gain some holiday traction.

- Join in!

Get your staff involved. Hold a costume competition or just encourage everyone to dress up. It’s perfect for social media and gives you some fun and engaging content to spread some love! Give a little payback to your team's efforts by offering some creepily good break-time treats.

- Get spirited online!

Jazz up your website for the big event! Add some visuals with Halloween elements – spider’s webs, ghosts, ghouls – whatever you fancy.

Show off your Halloween spirit to customers with a specific email newsletter. Let them know about any Halloween promotions you’re hosting and include an exclusive coupon code or discount offer to encourage them to buy products or visit your business over the holiday.

Promote your competitions on your social channels. There are tons of opportunities for your business to use Halloween as a hook to get customers really engaged on social media. For instance, you could use Facebook to promote your pumpkin carving contest, share the entries and promote your winning entry and their prize.

For marketing advice and support to suit your small business, contact Claire at Blue Lizard Marketing on

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