Cup of coffee with milk topping in the shape of a Halloween ghost.

Own a coffee shop? Here’s one way to promote the Halloween holiday. And here are other ways to take advantage of Halloween to boost sales….

When you think of major holidays, Halloween probably doesn’t make the cut. But does that mean that the seemingly frivolous child-centric holiday can’t help lead to more sales for your business?

If statistics revealed by the National Retail Federation (NRF) mean anything, you should indeed plan to promote your business around the holiday. That’s because 2018 Halloween spending, says the NRF, is expected to reach a total of $9 billion. This is the second highest Halloween spending since the Great Recession ended.

Now, does that mean that American consumers will spend $9 billion on meals, coffee, or anything that your business sells? Not exactly. You see, the $9 billion is directly for Halloween costumes, decorations, candy, greeting cards, and presumably, entry fees to pumpkin patches, haunted hayrides and the like.

Nonetheless, the seven in 10 consumers plan on celebrating Halloween this year, says the NRF. This amounts to an average spend of $90 per consumer. This means you can potentially cash in on the holiday.

Here’s how….

Use Social Media

Starting in the beginning of October, announce on your social media profiles that your business will be running a costume contest. Each customer that wishes to enter (the better the prize, say a $50 store credit, of course, the more likely you’ll get a good number of participants) must post a picture of themselves and tag your store’s social media handle. At the beginning of October, announce the contest a few times per week. As Oct. 31 approaches, increase the frequency of the posting. Use funny and appealing images (that are not offensive) to attract attention. Instagram is best for posting contest photos.

Discounts for Customers Who Dress Up

Piggybacking off of the social media tip above, offer a 15% discount (or whatever amount you deem is appropriate) for customers that visit your business dressed in costume. Have an employee take pictures with an old-school Polaroid camera. Make room on your storefront’s wall space for a photo gallery of all the customers (and employees) who dressed up. Most customers will enjoy the display and perhaps be in a better mood to purchase.

And if your place of business has the space, host a Halloween party. To get the word out, in addition to social media, if you have an email list announce your promotion by sending an email blast. Don’t be afraid to send more than one email for your Halloween campaign. As October 31 draws closer, increase the frequency of your email reminders. For best practices, allow your customers the option of unsubscribing to Halloween-related emails.

Promotional Giveaways

Let’s say you’re the proprietor of a store that sells health supplements. You obviously wouldn’t want to give out candy to your shoppers. However, maybe you can offer customers a free sample of, say, fish oil capsules. If you’re the owner of a clothing store, can you get your hands on some jack o’ lantern cufflinks or pins? If it’s a coffee shop you have, give out mini-muffins. Get creative with free perks and you’ll develop loyal customers.

Charitable Donations

In addition to your business hosting a costume party, make the event philanthropic by promoting the event as a canned-food drive or toy-drive for disadvantaged youth for the upcoming Christmas holiday.

Giving back is important for not only your community but also for fostering a better work culture for your employees. This is especially true if you have Generation Z employees, who choose where they work not based on pay but on company values.

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