Winter has received the title of being ‘the most wonderful time of the year,’ but autumn gives it a run for its money. The air becomes brisk, foliage transforms into lovely colors, and the scent of spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg envelop you in a warm hug with just a whiff. The best part of autumn, however, is Halloween. Though it is a little under a month away, retailers should be as prepared as possible for everyone’s favorite spooky season by stocking electronics and gadgets that deliver the frightening and the fun this Halloween.
The State of Halloween Retail
The retail sector is in for a big treat this Halloween. The National Retail Federation (NRF), the world’s largest retail trade association, published its annual Halloween trends survey on September 20. The survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, revealed that “a record number of people (73 percent) will participate in Halloween-related activities this year, up from 69 percent in 2022.”
Notably, 2023 is showing promising returns to pre-pandemic Halloween norms for many consumers. According to the survey, “more consumers also plan to throw or attend a party (32 percent) or take their children trick-or-treating (28 percent).” For those saying that it is ‘too early’ to prepare for Halloween, think again. The NRF survey indicates that many consumers adopt an earlier and better mindset regarding the holiday. Approximately half (45 percent) of consumers plan to begin their Halloween shopping before October starts. And with Halloween spending projected to total $12.2 billion this year, it would be wise to get in on the ground floor now, lest you face a trick rather than a treat.
Halloween Electronics are More than Animatronics
Halloween is a time for decorating. Filling a space from floor to ceiling indoors and grass to roof outdoors is time-honored. The survey indicates that the most popular ways people choose to celebrate Halloween include handing out candy (68 percent), decorating their home or yard (53 percent), or dressing up in costume (50 percent). Decorating is also a prime opportunity to incorporate some tech into a terrifying spectacle.
Decor makes up a substantial amount of electronics and gadgets during the Halloween season. Grotesque animatronics at big box stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s Home Improvement, as well as seasonal stores like Spirit Halloween, continually make the rounds on social media. The TikTok hashtag #halloweenanimatronics has generated 15.7 million views alone. But animatronics are not the only electronics and gadgets that can be incorporated into a Halloween setup.
Spectacularly Spooky Tech
What better way to help consumers achieve that frightening, fun, and festive Halloween setup than with spooky tech? When it comes down to it, Halloween is all about aesthetics and ambiance. The right electronics and gadgets can help create the perfect haunted house, attract the most trick-or-treaters, and make a costume party the talk of the town.
An LED Magic Ball Smoke Machine from HauntedProps.com can take a yard from drab to devilish. This smoke machine is 600W and has a rotating magic ball with an RGB single 3WX6PC 18W LED bulb. The device has the lighting effects of red, green, and blue monochrome and voice-activated rotating patterns like halo, light spot, and spider web. The machine has a tank capacity of 0.08 gallons and can spray compatible liquid fog up to 9.8 feet, transforming a front yard into an eerie scene in no time. The LED Magic Ball Smoke Machine retails for $89.99.
Lighting is everything on Halloween. The miniFLICKER-2+ Two-channel Multi-Effect Light Controller by LightsAlive takes this sentiment seriously. It has five user-selectable lighting programs plus a single control for variable intensity, speed, and depth. Effects range from the atmospheric candle simulation, roaring fire, and old neon signs to electrical 1 and 2 mood lighting. Compatible lights for the gadget include incandescent, halogen, dimmable LEDs and CFLs, and cold cathode bulbs. The miniFLICKER-2 gives consumers complete control over their lighting, setting the perfect, creepy mood for any haunt on All Hallows’ Eve. It retails for $149.
Looking for an electronic that can make the transition between holidays? Look no further than the AtmosKIT Plus Halloween by AtmosFX, an all-in-one projection kit featuring the ViewSonic M1+ wireless LED short-throw projector and Harmon Karden speakers. The kit comes with 12 Halloween AtmosFX decorations on a 4GB USB drive that includes dancing skeletons, a ghost pirate, zombies, and more ghoulish designs. To take a haunted house to the next level from the street level, the AtmosKIT Plus Halloween also contains 4×6 ft of Window Projection Material. The ViewSonic M1+ projector is portable and versatile, featuring multiple connection options as well as wireless screen-sharing capability with iOS and Android devices so customers can do Halloween their way. The AtmosKIT Plus Halloween retails for $369.
Online Shopping Is Up, and Altogether Ooky
Nowadays, retail combines in-person and online, and the same proves to be true this Halloween season. The NRF survey states that “discount stores (40 percent) remain the leading destination to buy Halloween items, followed by specialty Halloween/costume stores (39 percent) and online (32 percent).” Consumers also turn to the web when it comes to inspiration, so building a witchy website presence and a spooky section of a store can appeal to potential customers.
Eager Halloween consumers also tend to be younger. “Younger consumers are eager to begin their Halloween shopping, with more than half of those ages 25-44 planning to shop before or during September,” Prosper Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said in a press release on the survey. “Social media continues to grow as a source of costume inspiration for younger consumers, as more people under 25 are turning to TikTok, Pinterest and Instagram for ideas.”
Using social media would be to retailers’ advantage to corner the Halloween retail market that is increasingly occupied by younger generations. Whether it be through creating short-form content or sprucing up your website, spook-ifying your online ambiance can take sales up a notch. After all, according to the survey, retail stores make up 28 percent of the source for consumers’ inspiration while planning for Halloween.
Don’t Miss Halloween 2023
Halloween is coming up, and it is wise to get in on the ground floor now rather than later to take advantage of the record amount of consumer spending and participation this spooky season.
Decorations will be the primary way in which consumers will be purchasing electronics, gadgets, and tech for Halloween this year. The NRF predicts that consumers will spend a whopping $3.9 billion on decorations for Halloween this year. Take advantage of the unique market of themed products Halloween requires and consumers admire for their hauntingly fun ambiance, and you may just add another treat to your bag.