Small Business Halloween Promotions

The National Retail Federation has been conducting its annual Halloween survey since 2003 to learn how Americans celebrate the “fright and delight” of this beloved autumn holiday.

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The survey shows that Halloween spending topped 6.9 billion last year. It would be a huge marketing mishap to ignore this popular season. Below are some easy ways you can drive traffic and increase Halloween sales.

Cater to the Children

Shopping with kids is rarely a rewarding experience. This year, plan a day of family friendly Halloween themed activities. This can include a “make a Trick or Treat bag”, balloons, popcorn or local children’s entertainers. Hold a drawing for a special Halloween gift basket. Many local parenting publications and blogs have free event listings so you can get the word out easily.

Community Promotion

You don’t need a physical location for this promotion. Does your community have a fall festival or other seasonal themed event? (Pumpkin patch, haunted house, etc.) Explore setting up a booth to introduce your business, hand out branded swag or host a giveaway. If this option is costly, consider partnering with another small business that compliments your products or services. You can also skip the event and donate items like candy bags or water (branded with your company, of course). Check with local schools to see if they need donations for Halloween carnivals and other fall events. 


This one is a no-brainer. Buy some budget friendly Halloween decorations and go crazy. Dollar shops and thrift stores can be a treasure trove of seasonal swag. Enlist the help of team members to get creative input.

Social Media Engagement

If you don’t have a brick and mortar location, you can still get in on the Halloween fun. Put up Halloween themed posts, funny memes, photos of your staff in costume, news stories about Halloween, etc. For just a small amount of money – as low as $5.00 a post - you can reach thousands of potential customers on Facebook in a demographic that you designate.

Host a Costume Contest

Heavily promote your costume contest, focusing on a valuable prize. (gift baskets, gift cards, etc.) Use social media, your newsletter, local advertising and in-store signage to let the community know about your special event. Create a bigger buzz by hosting a pet costume contest. Everyone loves a pet in costume!

Dress Up

Get your team into the Halloween spirit! You don’t need everyone in full costumes; there are plenty of creative Halloween themed t-shirts available. A simple witch hat or devil horns worn on the head can suffice as well.


A creative way to increase sales is to offer several items bundled together for a special price. Come up with an interesting name like the “Mummy Mash Up” collection or a “Boo Bundle”. To introduce shoppers to fresh products, bundle a popular item with a new one.

Creative Communication

Do you have an email or newsletter mailing list? Create a unique Halloween themed mailing with special offers, giveaways and fun photos. Include photos of your decorated store and dressed up employees.

Here’s to a profitable spooky season!