This is a great holiday for contests, deals and movie tie-ins.

Halloween is coming up and shoppers will be on their mobiles looking for promotions on costumes, decorations and candy and checking out the venues with the best deals for Halloween parties.

If you don’t take Halloween seriously since it’s not a heavyweight retail holiday like Christmas, consider the fact that in 2014, $7.4 billion was spent on Halloween paraphernalia like costumes, candy and decorations. And 64% of the population in the U.S. participate in Halloween activities.

Now guess where the number one place for people to find inspiration for their costumes is? That’s right, the internet. And since there are now more mobile searches than desktop searches, you can be sure that businesses will be looking to mobile this Halloween to boost sales.

Here’s how your business can take advantage of Halloween shopping this year:

1. Be mobile-ready


Businesses that adapted their websites to mobile to ensure fast loading and seamless checkout experiences will do better than competitors who haven’t made that investment. Mobile apps are on the rise as retailers try to harness the influx of mobile shoppers.

CEO of digital marketing company iQuanti, Viswanatha Rachakonda says that mobile apps have changed sales cycles and customer research habits: “The acceleration of app usage…will [lead to] purchases being made on the move on Amazon and other e-tailers… Ensure that your digital presence is mobile-ready since the search may be happening on mobile.”

2.     Introduce Halloween-themed ads

Dos Equis leveraged mobile sales for Halloween with a multifaceted campaign that included an interactive storyline that allowed participants to choose different outcomes. They also launched a contest where participants who uploaded Masquerade or Halloween inspired photos could win a trip to New Orleans for an event. And the last part of their campaign included a virtual reality experience with special headsets to be handed out in bars.


IKEA also won over horror movie fans with their ad inspired by the movie The Shining that takes customers through their store after hours. The ad highlighted that stores would be open for extended hours during Halloween.

3.     Send offers and discounts

If you happen to be an establishment that caters to Halloween customers, then make sure you take full advantage of that by sending texts with unique holiday discounts and offers. Stores that sell costumes, candy and decorations can leverage the power of some nontrivial SMS marketing ideas: texts demonstrate 98% open rate and people usually respond to the texts within 90 seconds.

The retailer Party City used a successful mobile coupon campaign when customers were near their store. This geo-targeting strategy used push notifications and mobile retargeting to bring in extra foot traffic to their brick-and-mortar stores


4.     Hold a contest

This is a great holiday for contests. Petco capitalized on the fact that Americans spend an estimated 300 million on Halloween costumes for their pets every year. So they decided to hold a contest for best pet costume. Participants shared photos of their pets in costumes on the store’s Facebook page to compete for a cash prize or store gift cards.

They also hosted in-store Halloween pet parties where local customers could come in and show off their pets’ costumes. There are endless ways to engage your shoppers in some playful Halloween fun, and contests are marketing winners because people love to win free stuff.

5.     Use social media to engage customers


Social media contests and promotions are a great place to advertise Halloween offers and products. Arby’s promoted their TrickorMeat campaign on Twitter a few days leading up to Halloween to bring customers into their stores. All a customer had to do was says the words “Trick or Meat” and free bacon would be added to their order.

Oreo invented the The Oreo Laboratorium with their animated Halloween creations the “Nomsters” which they asked their Facebook and Twitter followers to help them name. The winner was given recognition for picking the best name.

6.     Send tips and advice

Customers respond well to messages that are relevant and useful to them. Here are some ideas:


Have customers to share tips and advice – Target launched an innovative Instagram campaign that allowed participants to share Halloween recipes, decorations and costume ideas with each other. The campaign hinged on the idea of being user generated and creating a “neighborhood” called Halloween Hill that allowed participants access to 30 different tips as well as featuring virtual trick or treating and haunted houses.

Fitness and diet retailers – Send tips on how to avoid putting on weight during Halloween. Include statistics about how much candy people consume on average during the holiday and how much time on the treadmill they’ll need to spend to work it off.

Use these tips to engage mobile customers and increase business this Halloween!

TextMagic is a text messaging service for businesses.