If tracking back to last year's data provides insight into what marketers can expect in 2015, about one-third of Halloween shoppers will begin searching for a costume to wear, treats to give away, and decorations for the home this month. Still, one-quarter won't start until two week before the October holiday, according to Microsoft, which released data for advertisers wanting to capitalize on the forthcoming crazy Halloween season.
Online search remains the No. 1 source of inspiration for a Halloween costume for adults, kids and pets. In fact 34% will start their search on engines such as Bing, Google and Yahoo, making paid search advertisements or shopping sites the best place for advertisers to reach perspective buyers. Some 23 million people will dress up their pets. Halloween searches on mobile grew 1,052% on Bing Ads in 2014.
Last year's top search terms on Bing from September through October included "halloween costumes," "halloween," "spirit halloween," and "halloween decorations," according to Microsoft.
Consumer behavior plays a major role in the cost advertisers will pay per click. The cost for the term "decorations" tends to rise two weeks prior to Halloween, while "costumes" reaches its peak around Oct. 25 at 0.40 and falls to 0.30 by Nov. 1. The cost for the keyword "party" tends to rise slightly from 0.25, reaching its peak at 0.30 per click around September 27, and falls to 0.16 about Oct. 11.
Bing's published heat map also shows the combination of words that connect with consumer behavior around Halloween time. For example, the combination of "delivery/shipping" and "kid costumes" works well, along with "Halloween" and "cartoon costumes," and "costume variety" and "selection."
Consumers will spend in aggregate $2.5 billion on Halloween candy, if last year's an indication of this year's trend, and 78% of parents confess to taking candy from their child's Halloween bag, according to Bing, citing 2014 stats from the National Confectioners Association, which estimates consumers spent $7.4 billion on Halloween last year.