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

Pattern Data Science

October 17, 2022

 5 minute read time
Spooky Shopping Insights- How Halloween Influences U.S. Consumer Demand

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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