How retailers are using Halloween apps to scare up more sales

By Becky Lawlor

| Retail

Halloween is my favorite holiday — what’s not to love about wearing a crazy costume and loading up on free candy? I’m not alone. According to the National Retail Federation, more than 157 million Americans plan to celebrate Halloween this year.

For retailers investing in Halloween apps, that’s good news. One-third of all Americans planned to use Halloween apps or websites in 2014, according to a study by SOASTA — and not just to generate costume ideas. More than 1 in 10 of those polled said they would use apps and websites to actually buy a costume.

Those numbers will be even higher this year. The recently published Internet Retailer 2015 Mobile 500 showed that dollars spent through mobile retail apps has jumped 69 percent — from $35.48 billion in 2014 to $59.86 billion in 2015, GPShopper reports.

How are retailers using Halloween apps to boost costume and other holiday-related sales? Take a look.

Increasing Engagement Through a Bewitchingly Interactive App

After watching its online sales almost triple in one year, according to Mobile Commercial Daily, Oriental Trading Co. launched its first Halloween app. In addition to giving shoppers the ability to browse and purchase its 40,000 products via the app, the company focused on creating an interactive and engaging experience.

Many of these interactive features are unique to the app and include fun experiences such as:

  • Decorating Your Own Haunted House: Users select and place items on the front porch and yard of a home to inspire decorating ideas. It comes with an in-app light switch so users can see how the house will look at night.
  • An Interactive Runway of Halloween Costumes: It’s designed for both kids and adults, and includes a zoom feature so that users can view costume details up close.
  • A Digital Tabletop: Shoppers choose plates, cups, napkins, utensils and other items to design a party table setting.

Oriental Trading Co.’s app provides its customers with fun and creative ways to engage with all aspects of Halloween. The app helps personalize a shopper’s experience while increasing engagement with the brand.

Scaring Up Brand Awareness

American Greetings has rolled out numerous apps intended to drive Halloween-themed card sales and boost brand awareness. With its Creatacard and LIVE Greetings apps, the company is giving children a digital platform with which to create drawings; those creations can then be transformed into paper cards, printed professionally and mailed anywhere in the world. The company’s justWink app offers free Halloween e-cards that can be shared through text, Facebook, Twitter and email.

Making Shopping Frightfully Simple

Disguise, a leading designer and manufacturer of Halloween costumes, has traded its printed catalog for a native mobile catalog app. The new app allows the sales representatives and the hundreds of retailers that sell Disguise products a delightful treat: the ability to browse and order from the company’s extensive inventory of costumes from anywhere, at any time.

The app simplifies the buying experience for reps and retailers by including search capabilities for products and categories that auto-populate as the user queries; a built-in help system integrated videos and the ability to update SKUs, pricing and add new releases — all features that weren’t possible with a printed catalog.

Haunting the Next Holiday Season

These are great examples of the ways that retailers are integrating Halloween apps into their marketing strategies to increase brand loyalty, enhance consumer engagement and streamline the shopping experience. But it’s not just about having an app — it’s about building an engaging app. According to SOASTA’s survey, how those Halloween apps perform will haunt retailers into the winter holiday shopping season: Seventy-one percent of Americans polled said that a bad experience shopping for Halloween on a website or app would decrease their interest in shopping there on Cyber Monday. Now, that’s some scary news.

Written By

Becky Lawlor

Technology Writer

Becky Lawlor is a freelance technology writer specializing in mobility, cloud computing, unified communications and collaboration solutions. She develops and writes content that helps technology buyers understand and evaluate technology solutions, modernize their IT infrastructure…

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