JC Lupis | Marketing Charts | Thu, 20 Oct 2016 13:00:12 +0000

Almost 7 in 10 American adults plan to celebrate Halloween this year, according to a recent report from the NRF. Total Halloween-related spending is expected to reach $8.4 billion, the highest amount in the NRF survey’s history, and representing a more than 20% increase from last year’s expected total of $6.9 billion.nrf-halloween-spending-forecasts-2005-2016-oct2016

That’s partly a function of more celebrants (69.1% of adults this year versus 64% last year), but also of growing per-celebrant spending ($83, up from $74). Two-thirds of that spending will be on costumes and candy, per the report, which surveyed almost 6,800 consumers.

Most will have begun their shopping by now, according to the report. About one-third planned to start their Halloween shopping prior to October, while another 44% planned to do so during the first couple of weeks of October. A recent report from Yesmail [download page] recommended that retailers start sending Halloween emails no earlier than October 11th, however, noting that email open rates were higher when sent after than before that date.

Returning to the NRF survey, the results suggest that the largest proportion (34.6%) of consumers will turn to online search for costume inspiration, followed by in-store browsing (29.1%). Looking specifically at search activity, data from Hitwise, a division of Connexity, indicates that kids’ costume searches spiked last year during the week of October 10th, while costume searches by men and women spiked in the last week of the month.

The top children’s costumes this year are led by Action/Superhero costumes, according to the NRF, topping Princess costumes for the first time in 11 years. The Hitwise data, meanwhile, indicates that the most popular overall costume searches in the 4 weeks ending October 1st were “Disney Moana”, “Harley Quinn”, and “Deadpool.”

For more data on search behavior relating to costumes, see the Hitwise data here.

For more data on Halloween spending and planned purchases, see the NRF survey results here.