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Trick Or Treat? Halloween 2020 eCommerce Trends

While certain Halloween events and parties will have to be canceled due to the new normal for coronavirus, some see a reason to anticipate the highest sales ever. Awareness of what people will be doing to celebrate can increase sales for eCommerce. “2020 could stack up to be the biggest Halloween year in recent history, despite concerns with social distancing,” declares an Insight to Action report.  Now is the time for eCommerce shops to capitalize on this year’s Halloween trends.

2020 could stack up to be the biggest Halloween year in recent history, despite concerns with social distancing,” declares an Insight to Action report.  Now is the time for eCommerce shops to capitalize on this year’s Halloween trends.

This year people found ways to celebrate graduations, birthdays, engagements, and other events under lockdown, and those backyard, at-home and virtual event will be manifested in  Halloween celebrations

The upside of 2020: timing and new ways of celebrating

One upside is the timing for Halloween this year. This is one holiday that is linked solely to a date and not to a day like Federal holidays. Having it fall out on a  Saturday when most people are off from school and work is a major plus because it gives them the time to devote to holiday stuff without any concern about being ready to return the grind the next morning.

Another reason Halloween offers great potential is that people are finding new ways to make a safe holiday celebration.  Etsy’s Marketplace Insights: 2020 Holiday Trends identifies how certain shifts in demand can spell new opportunities for retailers that include variations on traditional practices and expansions of celebration styles that emerged during the pandemic.

Signs of the times

This past spring, graduation signs started appearing on the front lawns within weeks of school closures. In the absence of the large gatherings for graduation ceremonies, people wanted to share the news of their children’s accomplishments in the form of exterior decor.

This stress on decorating the home on the outside when they could not engage in large social gatherings indoors was also applied to mark other milestones that would have been cause for a party at other times. As a result, there has been a proliferation of personalized signs, extravagant balloon arrangements, and other decor designed for backyard gatherings or just to broadcast their festive feelings to the world.


Accordingly, Halloween holiday décor is expected to be particularly popular in 2020. “Nationally, Halloween décor collections are growing steadily,” reports Insight to Action.

It found that 37% of the mothers surveyed said they expected to decorate their homes’ exterior, and 35%  say they plan to decorate inside.  To tap into that trend, eCommerce sellers can offer suggested items for decorating even weeks ahead of the holiday.

Decorations are also expected to be in demand to decorate cars for this year’s socially-distanced twist on trick-or-treating: trunk or treating. Instead of coming to the home’s door to receive treats, kids are to take items out of open car trunks identified by their decorations as being set out for just that purpose. 

Costumes not just for kids

Those who intend to go all out to experience the thrills and chills of Halloween will also be in the market for costumes.
Insight to Action found that 35% of mothers planned to purchase costumes for their kids. But adults also want to get in on the fun of dressing up, and a third said they’d be buying Halloween costumes for themselves or other adults.

Some of this year’s costume trends will likely include:

  • Costumes that make the most of the masks we’ve been wearing to reduce the spread.
  • Zoom-worthy costumes that — like the outfits people wear for such meetings — focus on what will be seen on the screen, with attention to the face, hair, and accessories around them.
  • Showing off matching costumes for the whole family, even pets.

Doing more at home and virtually

While they are less likely to show off their costumes in large parties, those celebrating Halloween may still have smaller get-togethers at home or connect with others virtually. Social media sharing will likely also be substituted for some of the in-person interactions of previous years.

You can capitalize on that shift by offering what will make the at-home celebrations more special, whether it centers on edible delights or Halloween-themed crafts. Suggested marketing possibilities include kits for activities or the implements and serving pieces that lend the Halloween touch to recommended recipes.

Spending on Halloween has been rising over the past several years. On that basis, Insight to Action anticipates that 2020’s spending may even exceed the $86 average that was forecasted by the National Retail Foundation last year.

Fall marketing can inform your holiday marketing

After the calendar page flips to November, you can transition to more general fall themes that may still feature pumpkins even if they are not jack-o-lanterns. The eCommerce businesses that market effectively can capitalize on this opportunity with Remarkety’s helpful templates and targeting capabilities.

Fall is a great time to learn more about your customers’ interests and preferences.
From September through November, you can test which offers convert most effectively by sending out different incentives at different times, like percentages off, gift cards, bonus offers, free expedited shipping, and flash sales on everything orange.

The data you pick up on now can inform your Christmas marketing with the right message going to the right person. Now is the time to start sending out those Halloween marketing emails and follow up to drive greater holiday sales in 2020.