How eCommerce Sites Dressed Up for Halloween This 2013

Halloween has become more and more popular over the recent years here in the UK. It is now virtually impossible to walk into a bricks and mortar store without being faced with a multitude of tempting treats and ducking under a cob web or two. The traditional fears of speaking to strangers and over-indulging throw out caution to the wind as October 31st reverses these fears and retailers are reaping the rewards.

Brits are estimated to have spent up to a staggering £325 million this Halloween, a major increase from the £285 million spent on Halloween for 2012 – according to Planet Retail. This is up from a reported £12 million in 2001.

It wasn’t just the shops on the high street that were capturing Halloween sales, eCommerce sites have been taking full advantage of shopping behaviours too.


Hotel Chocolat:

Hotel Chocolat Halloween
Hotel Chocolat Products Halloween

On entering this sophisticated site, the Halloween theme was prominent. The British chocolatiers seized the perfect opportunity to market to their sweet-toothed customers and executed it particularly well, wouldn’t you say? Dedicating a hero banner and 2 category pages to their festive treats. Hotel Chocolat carefully designed their Halloween campaign to tantalise and incentivise.


Lush Retail, Limited:

Lush Halloween

Lush Products HalloweenThe ‘Lush Blog’ topic was ‘how to achieve the perfect spooky Halloween bath’, featuring cleverly (of course) their Halloween related cosmetic and toiletries products such as Pumpkin Bubble Bar, Autumnal Figs and Leaves soap. The main website had a Halloween tab to send you straight to that list of products – they only had 5 products displayed in the category in stark contrast to the twenty on the Hotel Chocolat site but, given the product, I guess that is to be expected.


Fortnum & Mason:

Fortnums Halloween Banner

F&M Halloween

London’s popular department store known for their iconic afternoon teas and hampers, gave their confectioneries a Hallowe’en makeover and focused on the sweet treats of the season. Fortnum’s started their Halloween marketing early with a special Hallowe’en email that featured their ‘Wicked Wicker Hampers’ and ‘ghostly gifts’ and linked to the product and category pages on the site that remained active until 31st October. They also hosted a special pumpkin carving competition that no doubt resulted in additional sales.


ASOS.com:

Asos Halloween

ASOS Style HalloweenIt just wouldn’t be a rightful eCommerce post without giving the UK’s largest online-only fashion and beauty store a mention. In true ASOS style they had a Halloween category page that linked to all their Halloween related products; from skeleton onesies to pumpkin beanies. They also had a “get the look” styles page with titles such as “The Great Goth-by” and “Dawn of the Chung” – I’m sure they went down well.


Illamasqua:

Illamasqua Halloween
Illamasqua Tips HalloweenIllamasqua totally surpised and inspired me. I landed on their Halloween category page to find a range of carefully selected products and tips on how to transform into a Halloween horror. As well as advertising their products, they also provide a store locator and offered one-to-one sessions and make-overs.


Tesco:

Tesco Halloween
Supermarkets have really flourished over the years during special seasons like Halloween but have they been able to repeat that same success online? Tesco stepped in the right direction. Not only did they create a Halloween category page like others but, they also focused a fun recipe section to make Halloween a night to remember and give plenty of ideas on how to use of all those excess goodies and pumpkins.


Paperchase:

Paperchase Halloween
Paperchase haven’t made a prominent feature of Halloween on their page, in fact it was particularly hard to find but they do have a category in there. Bizarrely, the category was listed under the Christmas tab – we couldn’t figure that one out. Whereas most traces of Halloween have magically disappeared from other sites, this is still live on the Paperchase page.


Google:

Google Halloween

Halloween’s Google Doodle was fun and interactive and highly representative of the innovative digital era we’re in. As the user clicks on the witch’s book, the page turns and the story begins. With every two ingredients that are then selected a game pops up. By cleverly selecting a different combination of ingredients, a different game would begin.


There are of course many online retailers that didn’t feature Halloween this year so here are our 10 top tips on how to plan ahead for next year:

  1. Design a spooktacular category banner featuring your most impressive products and offers
  2. Create a relevant category/department page
  3. Add seasonal key words or key phrases on your page for SEO
  4. Consider running promotions e.g. Free delivery
  5. Extend your product range to Halloween exclusives
  6. Keep your URLs consistent with your subject
  7. Plan an email campaign
  8. Run a competition, and don’t forget to use social media hashtags and share tactics
  9. Think outside the box – recipes are a great way to gain traffic and convert to sales
  10. Lastly, don;t forget to test your category to maximise success with your campaign

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