The arrival of the spookiest time of year, Halloween, means the busiest period in the retail calendar – the Golden Quarter – is very much underway. Halloween spending in the UK will hold a special significance this year, being seen as a key opportunity for retailers amidst worries over inflation.

The good news is that Halloween retail expenditure continued to grow in 2021 to £607 million, is forecast to increase to £687 million this year, and is set to rise to a whopping £777m by 2023!

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Almost half (49 per cent) of Brits spend money on Halloween each year. Parents and young Millennials are reported to be the most likely to spend, with products such as confectionary, decorations and fancy dress being purchased.Whether you love it or loathe it, there’s no denying the opportunities for ecommerce are rife. As we fast approach the ‘spooky season’, here, Charlie Casey, CEO of LoyaltyLion provides the best ways for brands to capitalise on the spike in spending by connecting with consumers so they come back for more.‘Spooktacular’ incentives

Customers always love a discount, but, with so much competition, incentives need to go further than simple price drops. We know from our recent BFCM research that for 75 per cent of consumers free gifts would influence  a purchase, and 80 per cent say that  free or discounted shipping would make them more likely to spend. This shows that added value, not just lower cost, can make all the difference.Free shipping

With 90% of consumers saying free shipping is their top incentive to shop online more, offering free shipping to customers is a simple yet highly effective strategy. For best results, retailers should position this as a ‘member-only’ perk at the point of checkout, as this gives buyers a clear reason to sign up to your loyalty programme.

Reap the rewards

Brands should promote double or triple points for a set time in the lead up to Halloween to incentivise higher order values. The best way to do this is to advertise the points event ahead of time, encouraging shoppers to set up an account so they can earn rewards while spending with the brand as they get stocked up for Halloween.

Don’t forget reward reminders

Send out email or text message reminders ahead of the points event so that shoppers know they have rewards to come and claim.

57% of loyalty program members don’t know their points balance, and 38% are unaware of their points value. As such, reward reminders make for a no-nonsense way to encourage customers back to the site or shop sooner.

Brands should also suggest popular items, for example, fancy dress costumes, decorations and party games, so that consumers can get excited about the goods they can save on.

Social competitions

Reward followers with points for liking or sharing spooky social content, or take it one step further by running a competition for the best Halloween social posts.

This is when followers have the potential to become loyal repeat purchasers down the line as they’ve proactively engaged with the brand and its content.

To conclude

Now the third biggest UK retail event in the calendar, Halloween presents a huge opportunity for brands to grow customer loyalty and boost sales. And with fears that the UK is already in recession with a slump in retail sales last month, the opportunity couldn’t come sooner.

The ‘spooky season’ is the ideal time for stores to build relationships with new and established customers in an engaging and impactful way. This is the ideal moment for brands to capitalise on peaks in web traffic and turn one time buyers into loyal customers. And with Halloween heralding the start to the Golden Quarter, there’s no better time to engage customers old and new so they’re set to come back for more, whether that’s to take advantage of the BFCM sales period or to start their Christmas shopping early.

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Charlie Casey
CEO at LoyaltyLion