- On October 24, 2019
Halloween is an exciting time for brands to engage with consumers - something that’s clear from the plethora of Halloween-themed ads we see on the TV. But what else can brands do to engage audiences, besides expensive TV advertising? In this article, our Amazon expert, Jérôme de Guigné, explores how the world’s biggest international marketplace can be the ideal place for brands to turn an event like Halloween into a sales phenomenon.
A huge sales opportunity
Like Christmas, Halloween seems to start earlier and go on for far longer than it used to. Especially as Europe has now fully embraced what used to be largely thought of as a US tradition.
According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), Americans spend $9billion on Halloween, while Mintel says people in the UK spent £419 million last year - an increase of nearly 5 per cent vs 2017. 
But brands should also be thinking about the celebration at the end of October as a comparatively ‘quieter’ period that they can piggyback to really drive sales. Particularly on Amazon, the world’s biggest and most influential eCommerce platform, where 71 per cent of all Halloween online shopping takes place. 
Your product could be more relevant to Halloween than you think
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that people are just spending on scary masks, candy, gimmicks and costumes for kids.
Buying party food and making drinks purchases accounted for 34 cent and 31 per cent of the UK’s Halloween spend in 2018, respectively , with one insight expert saying that “Rising adult expenditure on food and drinks is a key driver of growth”. 
Brands need to think smartly about whether their products are or can be relevant to the broader celebration of Halloween (beyond just trick or treating). And, if so, optimise them accordingly on Amazon so that they become visible to shoppers that might not otherwise have associated such products or brands with Halloween.
For instance, look at this clever Amazon PPC ad from make-up giant Rimmel, in which they use keywords like ‘Vampire Look’ and ‘Zombie Look’ to make shoppers think about using their products for Halloween parties and the like. Notice also the inclusion of ‘Spooky Looks’ and ‘Halloween Bundles’.
Here’s what you could do to drive sales
You can optimise your product listings for search (external SEO and internal Retail Search), run Amazon PPC ads, update your Product eContent, get your products on Amazon’s Halloween Store launch limited time or one-day sales, share your product listings on social media, and invest in Sponsored positions to increase your visibility and discoverability.
Hershey’s is another brand taking advantage of the opportunities that Amazon offers during the end of October celebration by running a one day sale of its products on the platform, knowing that households across the world will be preparing themselves for the onslaught of candy-craving ‘trick or treaters’.
Some frighteningly good Amazon ideas
- Update your Product eContent to make it relevant
You can’t simply expect consumers to immediately associate your product or brand with Halloween - you need to make it very clear that it is.
The most obvious place to start is by using new Halloween-themed product images that show your product in Halloween context or setting, if it’s suitable. Doing so will help your product leap out at browsing consumers and improve their shopping experience, thereby helping boost conversions.
Go further by updating your product title so that it includes ‘Halloween’ or similar or produce some themed video content that shows why your product is perfect for Halloween.
- Make your advertising relevant
Amazon is a keyword-driven business: you will therefore want to update your advertising and ad campaigns with the best Halloween-related keywords, such as ‘spooky’, ‘scary’, ‘creepy’, ‘zombie’, ‘vampire’ and so forth. The Rimmel Amazon PPC above is a great example of how to do this well.
But be careful to ensure that your products are relevant to the keywords you choose. If they are too forced and artificial, customers will not buy your product, and your conversion rates will drop - and your organic ranking with it.
- Product description keywords
If your product is actually relevant to Halloween and you’re able to use themed imagery on that basis, then make sure that your product descriptions contain Halloween-related keywords such as the ones mentioned above, so that the all-important Amazon algorithms spot your listing and make it visible to shoppers when they’re searching or browsing.
Alexa is becoming ever-more influential when it comes to voice search, and ‘she’ will increasingly pick up on optimised seasonal specials when making product recommendations.
In conclusion - be prepared to make your content timely and relevant
Anything that can help you build traffic and deliver conversions will be important in driving your success on Amazon. Driving traffic without relevance is a waste of time. But traffic based on meaningful content will boost your organic ranking - and, therefore, your sales.
Use Halloween as an opportunity before the craziness of the holiday season to acquire cheap(er) traffic for your page and build product and brand awareness.
Be agile, and update your content so that it fits in with events like Halloween to help it become more attractive to Amazon’s algorithms.
And, with planning ahead to fit on with important yearly events in mind, make sure you get ready for the next big rush on Amazon that will take place during November and December ahead of the holiday season!
This article was written by Jérôme de Guigné (The Great Wall), eBusiness Institute Collaborator and Amazon Expert.
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