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Patricia O'Loughlin
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Word concubine since 1989.
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How Businesses Are Leveraging Halloween to Boost Sales

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Once considered a gauche American tradition, Halloween has well and truly infiltrated its way into the Aussie culture. Social media channels are increasingly spruiking the pagan festival, turning it into a beloved time of year all across the globe.

Naturally, this is having a heavy impact on business. In Australia, grocery giants have reported a surge in pumpkin sales, with Coles expecting to sell a whopping 280 tonnes of pumpkins this Halloween. Small business traders are also profiting from the spooky season: Queensland’s Stackelroth Farm has started selling around 100,000 pumpkins a year after starting out with a small crop of just 500 plants 14 years ago.

Meanwhile, major retail chains are also reaping in the benefits: craft and costume specialist Spotlight reportedly doubled its sales last Halloween, and that figure continues to climb with each passing year.

Any good marketer knows that special events are the perfect time to crank up business

Whether you’re a small business or a large chain corporation, events such as Halloween are ideal for generating a bit of buzz for your biz. You’re essentially presented with an opportunity to get people excited, and we all know how important emotional appeal is in marketing, so why not make the most of it? From attracting new customers to throwing events and creating sales prospects, there are numerous ways for businesses to effectively capitalise on Halloween trends…

Dress up, post a pic, and hashtag away! This is something that pretty much any business can get on board with – from small local retailers to big corporate offices. All you have to do is invite your employees to don a Halloween costume and post it across your social media channels to gain maximum exposure! By adding a #Halloween hashtag, you’re essentially optimising your chances of getting noticed by prospective customers. Speaking of which, you can even encourage your customers to dress up and take a pic in your store, then post it online tagging your business.

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Advocate your business with branded trick-or-treat bags. This nifty little idea is great for boosting brand recognition. Simply order some custom trick-or-treat bags printed with your business’s logo and pop a few relevant goodies in them along with your business card.

Host an event. If your budget allows for it, why not go all-out and throw your own Halloween party? Invite your staff along with existing clients, vendors, loyal customers and prospects, and deck the venue out with classy festive decorations along with plenty of marketing materials. You could even incorporate events like pumpkin-carving, and hand out awards for the best costume. Not only is it an ideal way to advertise your business, it’s also great for building team morale and socialising with your staff.

Get clever with themed sales tactics. There are so many different ways to get creative with sales opportunities around Halloween – it simply comes down to what kind of industry you operate within. If, for instance, you run a café or restaurant, you could introduce a ghoulish menu (we’re thinking pumpkin-flavoured meals, decorated sweet treats and Bloody Mary cocktails). If, on the other hand, you run a bookstore, why not set up a Halloween-inspired display complete with all the classic thrillers.

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The marketing opportunities are pretty endless when it comes to taking advantage of festive events such as Halloween. Even if you can’t find the time or budget to go all out, you can always do small things – such as write up a blog post on the topic to add to your business’s website, and cash in on that sweet SEO (irony wholeheartedly intended).

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By Patricia O'Loughlin


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