Spooky Shopping Insights: How Halloween Influences U.S. Consumer Demand

Pattern Data Science

October 17, 2022

Evaluating U.S. Consumer Demand for Candy, Costumes, Décor & More

From candy to attire to home décor — ecommerce retailers across a broad range of industries are preparing their online stores for a spooktacular Halloween. To help inform their decision-making process, our team analyzed consumer search data across multiple categories that helps answer:

  • What types of decorations do U.S. shoppers prefer?
    • When are shoppers seeking deals on Halloween decorations?
  • When is demand highest for Halloween costumes?
    • What types of costumes do U.S. shoppers search for most?
    • Patterns in U.S. consumer demand for pet costumes
  • When do U.S. shoppers start searching for Halloween candy?
    • Which Halloween candy is most popular?
  • Top takeaways for Halloween retailers

Halloween is one of the most popular holidays in the U.S. In fact, a study conducted in the third quarter of 2021 showed that Halloween had a popularity rating of 65%.

With nearly 2/3 of the U.S. population looking forward to a spooky celebration, ecommerce retailers need to be prepared to meet increased demand for various products. Not only that, but they need to make sure their product offerings reflect current shopper preferences.

To help online store owners plan more strategically, we evaluated Amazon consumer search data across three key categories: candy, costumes, and decorations. In our analysis, we uncover some of the most important questions Halloween retailers have, including what the most popular Halloween candy is and what costumes are in highest demand.

What Types of Decorations Do U.S. Shoppers Prefer?

U.S. shoppers have an obvious preference when it comes to where they’re placing their Halloween decorations. According to our analysis, 70% of shoppers are looking for outdoor Halloween decorations versus indoor:

Taking this into consideration, online retailers should make sure their inventories are well-stocked with outdoor decorations in the months leading up to Halloween.

When are Shoppers Seeking Deals on Halloween Decorations?

We wanted to know when U.S. shoppers were most interested in scoping out deals on clearance Halloween decorations. Using data from 2021, we see a 200% increase in consumer demand for clearance decorations from July to August. Demand decreases by 100% from August to September, but sees a sharp rise to 397% during the first week of October.

Demand for decorations steadily declines in the weeks leading up to Halloween. This is likely due to the fact that most people have already decorated their homes by this point. Not only that, but ordering products online after the first week in October poses a risk of not having the item in time for the holiday celebration.

After the holiday passes, demand falls well below the seasonal average for the remainder of the year. Using this information, retailers may want to rethink their approach to clearance sales. Instead of offering deals on Halloween decorations after the holiday ends, as is standard practice, store owners can reach consumers when demand is higher for clearance items in August or early September.

When is Demand Highest for Halloween Costumes?

While shoppers might start searching for decorations earlier in the year, our data shows that consumer demand for Halloween costumes doesn’t climb above the annual average until early September. Demand for costumes is at its highest (426% above the annual average) during the week before Halloween:

Since demand is at its peak during the penultimate week in October, online retailers will need to work harder to ensure shipments reach their customers in time. Coordination between inventory, shipping, and customer service departments will be crucial during this time.

What Types of Costumes Do U.S. Shoppers Search for Most?

It would be nearly impossible to encompass all the different types of Halloween costumes that consumers search for online. However, our team did try to narrow it down to the top eight most searched for costumes on Amazon. As it turns out, more shoppers are interested in being spooky than sexy for Halloween. Searches for ghost costumes were at 38% while searches for “sexy costumes for women” were at 22% out of total searches between 2020 – 2022.

Patterns in U.S. Consumer Demand for Pet Costumes

Of course, pets can’t be left out of the excitement for Halloween. Year over year, more U.S. shoppers are dressing up their pets for the occasion. In fact, our data shows that demand for both cat and dog costumes has steadily increased from 2020 – 22:

While demand for both dog and cat costumes has increased over the years, consumers have a clear preference for which pet they’d like to dress up for the occasion. According to our data, 80% of shoppers searched for dog costumes when comparing total searches for pet costumes from 2020 – 22:

When Do U.S. Shoppers Start Searching for Halloween Candy?

While consumer demand for candy sees a slight increase over the annual average during early February (Valentine’s Day), demand doesn’t see its seasonal peak until October 24. During this time, demand for candy climbs to 79% above the annual average.

However, general demand begins to climb well before October in mid-August. By the week of August 29, consumer demand is 23% above the annual average. From there, it steadily increases until its peak in October.

Using this information, online candy retailers should ensure they can satisfy increased consumer demand by stocking their inventories before August hits.

Which Halloween Candy is Most Popular?

What candy should retailers be stocking in their inventory? We evaluated search volume across nine of the most popular types of candy to find the answer. According to our analysis, Skittles are the most popular Halloween candy among U.S. Amazon shoppers:

Top Takeaways for Halloween Retailers

Using the information our team at Pattern gathered, ecommerce retailers can make important inferences about their Halloween preparations. For home décor retailers, clearance sales on Halloween decorations will perform best from August – September rather than during the weeks following Halloween. Since more shoppers are searching for outdoor decorations, it’s important to stock inventory accordingly.

Consumer demand for costumes reaches its height during the week preceding Halloween. As such, retailers will need to make sure they are coordinating effectively across their inventory, shipping, and customer service departments to ensure products are reaching consumers in time for holiday delivery. With more shoppers searching for scary costumes than sexy costumes, it might also be a good idea to stock up on more horrifying Halloween offerings.

Demand for candy also reaches its seasonal peak during the week of October 24th, so candy retailers should take the same advice as costume shops. When planning out inventory, Skittles should take priority since consumers prefer this type of candy.

Insights like these can help ecommerce retailers plan better for seasonal fluctuations in demand. Request a demo to see first-hand how our data can help empower your ecommerce strategy.

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Important Holidays to Prepare for on Marketplaces in China

Important Holidays to Prepare for on Marketplaces in China

Brands selling their product throughout the Asia-Pacific region may wonder how to keep up with the fast market and make plans for next year. The good news is that in China, and the surrounding areas, there are many ecommerce holidays year-round for brands to prepare for and increase their sales. As brands plan for 2023, here are some important holidays brands should prepare for in China:

Q1 (January-March)

  1. Chinese New Year: (usually late Jan.–mid-Feb.) Spring Festival—also known as Chinese New Year—is a week-long holiday that is quickly becoming an incredible growing opportunity for brands.

  2. Valentine’s Day: (Feb. 14) Despite being an inherently Western holiday, Valentine’s Day on 14th February is another major event that has been wholeheartedly adopted in China, especially among younger demographics. 

  3. International Women’s Day: (Mar. 8) The global holiday, which is celebrated annually, is not only focused on women in particular, but in China also the sale of items related to the needs of women. 

Q2 (April-June)

  1. 520 Festival: (May 20) The Chinese pronunciation for the numbers “5-2-0” sounds similar to “I love you”, hence “520 Festival”. May 20th gives Chinese lovers another chance to showcase their affection to one another through gift giving–China’s version of Valentine’s Day.

  2. 6/18 - founding anniversary of JD.com: (Jun. 18) This is the founding anniversary of JD.com, one of the most prominent ecommerce companies in China. The event,  colloquially known as 618, is celebrated annually for 18 days leading up to June 18th. 

Q3 (July-September)

  1. Qixi Festival: (7th day of 7th month of Chinese Lunar Calendar, Aug. 22 in 2023) Qixi Festival signals the annual meeting of the cowherd and weaver girl in Chinese mythology, creating China’s Valentine’s Day and a huge retail event.

  2. Mid-autumn festival: (Sept. 29) Also known as the Moon or Mooncake Festival, this traditional festival is celebrated in many Asian countries. The mid-autumn festival is a very popular time to give gifts to friends and relatives. 

Q4 (October-December)

  1. Golden Week: (1st week in Oct.) This week-long public holiday in China is not necessarily an ecommerce holiday, but everyone takes work off for the week and it could have a direct impact on your ecommerce business. Being aware of public closures in the Asia-Pacific regions will help you plan ahead in inventory levels and necessary communication.

  2. Singles’ Day: (Nov. 11) Singles’ Day, or Double 11 festival, is the biggest 24-hour online shopping festival in the world and originated in China. Singles’ Day is a type of “anti-Valentine’s day”, originally created for those with a single relationship status, due to the symbolism of the number 1 (11/11). The shopping event has broken sales figure records each year since its birth and is often likened to Black Friday in the US.

  3. Double 12: (Dec. 12) Double 12, or Couples’ Day, is another massively popular shopping event in China that was originally established for smaller businesses that might have missed out on the benefits of Singles Day. 

How to Prepare For These Ecommerce Holidays in 2023

Now that you’re aware of the ecommerce holidays in 2023 that could benefit your brand, it’s important you prepare well and can use them to your brand’s best advantage. Here are four things to keep in mind when preparing:

1. Make sure you have a good trade partner. 

All brands expanding to or selling in China on any marketplace need a trade partner they can trust. A good trade partner should have experience, transparency, a data-driven mindset, brand obsession, and the right tools and resources to help you succeed.  

2. Stay ahead of the logistics. 

A good trade partner will help your brand understand various regional consumer demands and give you marketplace-specific logistics to help you to stay in stock. Every marketplace demands various amounts of stock, mostly depending on the consumer demand in that region, but also the upcoming holidays celebrated in those regions.

3. Prepare your customer-service teams for the holidays.

If you are planning to participate and sell your products during the holidays mentioned above, it’s important your customer-service teams are aware and know how to handle the influx of consumers during those times. 

 4. Be aware of local and regional holidays that may affect your business.

Knowing which holidays can directly affect and improve your business is key to selling across marketplaces in the Asia-Pacific region. Although not all holidays may be obviously relevant to your brand, it’s worth looking into and elevating an opportunity for increased sales.

Accelerate on Chinese Marketplaces with Pattern

The opportunity for your brand to increase traffic and conversion during holidays in China is exponential.  As the world’s foremost ecommerce accelerator, Pattern can handle your end-to-end strategy to grow your brand both domestically and internationally. 

Pattern is an option to be your brand's trading partner since we know local languages, customs, and cultural nuances to clearly communicate your brand as we plan, strategize, and execute your products’ success in China. We make your success our business, dedicating expert teams, years of experience, and proprietary technology to find the best ways to take your products to consumers throughout the world.

Discover how you can grow your brand internationally. Contact us

One Amazon Live Event Wins Owlet the Best Seller Rank in Two Categories

One Amazon Live Event Wins Owlet the Best Seller Rank in Two Categories

Owlet is dedicated to providing innovative baby monitor products that can track a baby's vital signs, giving parents peace of mind. With such a compelling product solution, Owlet wanted to raise brand and product awareness.  

Working with Pattern as its 3P partner on Amazon, Pattern decided to host an Amazon Live event to feature Owlet products in use. That way, Owlet could demonstrate the efficacy of their baby monitoring products dispelling any consumer doubt, skepticism, and addressing all questions.

Download the one-page case study here.

Amazon Live Kicks Off Owlet Sale Event

Pattern produced and executed an Amazon Live to kick off a sale with Owlet. Pattern’s creative team set up a studio at our global headquarters complete with a baby crib, Owlet products, and two charismatic hosts who acted as brand advocates. After the event, Pattern's digital marketing experts measured the impact to overall sales.

Read more about Owlet's Amazon Live event.

During and After Amazon Live, Owlet Sales Spike

During the event, Owlet traffic, defined by Amazon page views and sessions, spiked. The event’s attention to product detail, compelling video, and host engagement improved conversions too. Owlet's sales increased by over 10% during the week of their Amazon Live event and sale. 

But the success didn’t stop there–the event improved Owlet's Best Seller Ranking as well.  Their sock monitor went up ~70% and their camera by ~69% during that week. 

Owlet Traffic, Conversion, and Rank Skyrocket 

  • Owlet sales, page views, and sessions all spiked during the Amazon Live event.

  • Owlet increased sales by approximately 9-16% throughout the whole week of the Live event and sale.

  • Owlet’s Best Seller Ranking Jumped:

    • Sock monitor improved by 70% during the week of their Amazon Live event and sale.

    • Camera improved by 69% during the week of their Amazon Live event and sale.

Pattern’s Amazon Expertise 

As the world’s top ecommerce accelerator and Amazon 3P partner, Pattern knows how to take advantage of the various advertising channels on Amazon and other marketplaces to build your brand.  Pattern’s strategy is grounded in data-driven trends and consumer shopper behavior on Amazon, which is applied to our ecommerce equation.

How can we increase traffic and conversion to your brand? Contact us today.

“Partnering with Pattern has expanded our ability to capitalize on sales-driving opportunities that we wouldn't be able to tackle on our own. ”

– Jared Anderson, Owlet VP of Sales

Catch a behind the scenes moment from the Amazon Live Event:

5 Crucial Considerations When Building Your Global Marketplace Strategy

5 Crucial Considerations When Building Your Global Marketplace Strategy

As a brand creates revenue and gains momentum on domestic marketplaces, executives may start to wonder if they should grow their brand internationally. Expanding to international marketplaces is complicated, can be overwhelming, but building a solid strategy before expanding internationally will streamline the process. 

At Pattern, we’ve helped countless brands build their international strategy with our proprietary data, global marketplace experience, and local expertise in established and emerging regions. 

Building an international strategy must be calculated and methodical, and here are five considerations at the core of going global: 

1. Distribution by Country/Region

First, it should be no surprise that the methods and strategies companies use to transport products from the distribution centers to customers can vary by country or region. Handling order fulfillments may look different from shipping and packaging options, to delivery and transportation. Although the basic steps of global distribution may remain the same, the nuances of regional distribution may vary. 

If your brand already has a high-level distribution strategy in place in the areas you are currently selling, then it’s possible to modify and use it to go global.  

2. Consumer Demand

Before expanding to a specific country, marketplace, or entire region (across multiple marketplaces), it’s important you thoroughly research and understand the consumer demand for your product. Do you have data to show that your expansion market(s) has a need for your product? 

Beyond product-market fit, additional parts of consumer demand analysis include: consumer behavior, awareness of differences in cultural norms, and the beliefs and values of international buyers. Having access to data-driven insights and analysis on traffic and conversion, like Pattern’s reporting, is key to understand consumer demand in certain regions. 

3. Product Registration and Regulatory

Countries around the world set up regulations and processes to protect their consumers from any hazardous imports. Because of that, it only makes sense that these countries may have different product registration requirements and standards. Before expanding to new regions, a brand should make sure their products are registered with the appropriate government institutions and follow all production best practices to prevent any roadblocks.

At Pattern, our regional experts have the resources to manage marketplace setup and understand administrative requirements necessary to help scale global growth for your brand. 

4. Localized Pricing

When it comes to localized pricing, international ecommerce retailers should keep in mind two things–currency conversion and customer perception of price. As brands look to expand internationally, thorough research should be done to understand the currency conversions at each stage of the product life cycle in order to figure out the optimal localized pricing, while still retaining a net profit.

Remember, because of cultural differences, final pricing may be perceived differently by customers on international marketplaces. For example, in the western countries, it’s common for prices to end in a 9, but in other countries, it may be best to use a round number instead. High market saturation of certain products may also affect consumers’ perception of pricing, making them more likely to pay a higher price for the product than in a low-saturation market. 

5. Localized Labeling

Different countries and regions may have unique requirements for product labeling. Awareness and understanding of these requirements is key to a successful international strategy. For example, labeling may need to be in a certain language, and some countries may require brands to include certain product information. 

Your domestic team may not be equipped to handle all translations and regulatory conversations, so having the resources in place before attempting to expand globally will help prepare you for expansion. As a global ecommerce partner, Pattern has a team of regional experts and end-to-end resources to ease the pain of complying with local product labeling requirements.   

Build a Successful International Marketplace Strategy With Pattern

Moving into global markets requires a significant amount of research and planning–that usually starts with these 5 considerations. Having a solid strategy in place before your brand starts expanding to international marketplaces will make the overall process much smoother, easier to manage, and with a higher likelihood for success.. 

Going global can be intimidating, costly, and overwhelming to grow revenue, but with Pattern as your 3P trade partner, you’ll have the experience, resources, and data to successfully expand your business internationally. Our global expertise and footprint makes international growth on marketplaces frictionless and profitable. 

Is your brand considering global marketplaces? Contact us

Want to learn more about how Pattern helps brands go global? Watch this message from our co-founder and CEO, Dave Wright.