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Halloween Is BOO-ming for US Retailers and Manufacturers


As retailers prepare for the big holiday season, Halloween spending in 2016 doesn't look scary at all. And, it portends good things for consumer spending on Black Friday all the way through the New Year. Here are some interesting facts and trends that we've compiled from secondary research.

Spending and Trends

This year, almost 200 million Americans plan to celebrate Halloween by spending an average $82.93 per household, an increase of $8.59 over 2015 (or +12%). Total spending is expected to reach $8.4 billion, which is an all-time high according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). In addition to spending growth, new changes and trends are emerging.

Trend 1 - Not Just for Kids

Millennial consumers (ages 18-34) are the most likely of all adult generations to enjoy the holiday. They spend an average $42.39 compared with $31.03 for all adults. Millennials plan to show off their expensive costumes at parties, a trend that has increased 10.9% percent from 2006.

Trend 2 - Trick or Treat...Is Anyone Home?

More consumers are opting for retail visits and events instead of handing out candy at home. Plans to visit haunted houses are up (20%). Consumers want more Halloween experiences.

Trend 3 - Everyone's a Hero

NRF’s top costume survey points to a shift from “princess” to “superhero” for Halloween consumers. This includes Star Wars’ Rey, the Supergirl television series, and an upcoming reboot of Wonder Woman.  Not surprisingly, pop culture is providing girls and boys with plenty of action hero ideas.

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The Halloween Customer Journey

According to the NRF study, consumers will use online resources (35%) and make in-store visits (29%) to find the the perfect costume. In addition, social media will influence today's Halloween consumers. Specifically, Pinterest and Facebook (tied at 17 percent) will guide many decisions. Some other places for inspiration are friends/family (19%), pop culture (16%) and print (14%).

When it comes to shopping destinations, 47% of shoppers will visit discount stores and 36% will visit a specialty Halloween/costume store, up from 33% in 2015. In addition, 26% will visit grocery stores/supermarkets, 23% will visit department stores and 22% will buy online. 

As with many omnichannel campaigns, retailers and manufacturers will rely on a combination of email, direct mail, print, mobile, digital display and social media. Increasingly, savvy direct marketers will target their best customers and prospects using custom audiences inside of major social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

At Data Decisions Group, more and more clients are asking us to help them build custom audiences and lookalike audience using our consumer data and predictive analytics.

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And Now for Some Scary Movie Trivia

It's a time-honored tradition in the United States to indulge in scary movies during Halloween. From to , we love to get spooked. And, while horror movies as a category may only be the seventh highest grossing genre, they are many times the most profitable. 

How many of these famous scary movies can you name? Take our scary movie quiz and find out. We'll treat one lucky winner to a free Starbucks gift card.

Take the Scary Movie Quiz

Happy Halloween!

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At Data Decisions Group, we help retailers and manufacturers understand and target these shoppers with our marketing research and consumer data.  Contact us today to discuss your research and direct marketing marketing needs.  NEW: Ask us how we can help you create Facebook custom audiences using our consumer data, propensity model data and lists, and predictive analytics.

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Whitney Hamilton
Whitney Hamilton
Whitney Hamilton is the Marketing Communications Manager at Data Decisions Group. Her expertise includes the mining of consumer facts and data from DecisionPoints, our national consumer data and list solution.