13 Spooky Small Business Tips to BOOst Revenue this Halloween
Brick-and-mortar small businesses have a competitive advantage over larger retailers. For starters, they can position themselves as part of the community, offering customer service and local knowledge big competitors, or online retailers, simply cannot. Halloween is one of those rare holidays when engaging with the community is encouraged, as kids go door-to-door asking for candy, and adults get creative with costumes and parties. Halloween is a unique opportunity for you connect with your local community, and that doesn't happen too often anymore, so take advantage of it. Take a proactive approach with promotions, decorations, sales, as well as partnerships with other stores. You can develop ongoing goodwill by offering a service to community groups and gain new customers who have never experienced your store before.
Americans are expected to spend about $9 billion on Halloween related purchases this year, according to recent research from the National Research Federation. That means the holiday could offer a major opportunity for your small business to increase sales, but only if you’re prepared for it.
Here are 13 small business tips to BOOst Halloween sales:
Seasonal Treats – Come October, Starbucks is one of the first to roll out their pumpkin spiced goodies. Give a few gift cards to loyal customers, a small gesture even for a cup of coffee can go a long way. If you are in the culinary or food business, revamp your menu and give it an autumnal twist. More apple and cinnamon, and pumpkin based recipes? Yes please! Halloween inspired decoration too? Sounds like a winner!
Welcome Trick-or-Treaters - Children out trick-or-treating will have their parents with them. If you advertise that you’re offering a special trick-or-treat gift for children, you’ll have a chance at reaching new customers through their parents.
Gift Cards – Everybody loves gift cards! How about you tap into the desire for a bargain and create a special discount campaign. For example, whoever spends a certain amount or over gets a free ticket for the local ghost tour, haunted house or cider mill. Customers will want to spend more in order to get the most value for their money, and you can probably buy the tickets for your promotion at a bulk discounted rate.
Costume Party – How about a discount for people visiting your store in their Halloween costumes? Something like this will certainly get people talking and coming through the doors.
Social Media Campaign – Photo contests on social media are huge. Why? Because people love uploading photos. So why not make a competition where people have to upload a photo of their pet in a Halloween costume or best pumpkin carving for the chance to win a prize. The prize could be anything, from a free dinner for two, to a holiday for two.
Decorate - Put up Halloween decorations in your business, or change the layout on your website to make it more festive for the Halloween season. Your customers will have a lot of fun with this.
Website Costume Contest - Have people send in pictures of themselves in their costume, and offer some sort of prize for the best one.
Dress the Business Owner – Another great idea how to get people engaged and create some social buzz around your brand is asking your followers about their opinion on what the business owner should wear for a Halloween party. You can present a few options and then let the public decide. Whichever look gets the most likes wins. This is a sure-fire way to get people talking (and liking).
Pass out Candy & Gifts - Even if you choose not to welcome trick-or-treaters into your business, you can still give treats to people who show up around Halloween. Let them know that their business is appreciated with a little seasonal fun!
Get Employees Involved – Speaking of costumes and dressing up, why not ask the staff to get dressed for the occasion. People visiting your store will love that, and if you don’t get people coming into your office, simply get everybody to pose for a picture in their Halloween gear and watch them Likes on Facebook go up!
Write Halloween Related Blog Posts - Give people great costume ideas, write accounts of your favorite Halloween memories from your childhood and more.
Carve Pumpkins - Obviously you’ll want to keep these in a safe place so they aren’t vandalized, and throw them out before they go bad, but this is a great idea to help decorate your business. You might consider carving your business’s logo into a pumpkin.
Make Special Halloween Coupons - This will draw more people into your business on those days, which will attract more people in during the time you’re in costume or have the store decorated.
These are just a few creative ideas to promote your small business around Halloween. The most important tip to remember, is to have fun. If you do, your customers will notice, and they’ll want to come back often. This is one of the few times of the year to do something no online retailer will ever be able to; create human connection, engage in local festivities and establish relationships within your community. Be prepared, and take advantage of this wonderful time of year!