October 26, 2012, 8:54 AM

Retailers get creative to dress up their Halloween sales

From giveaways to discounts, online merchants get into the Halloween spirit.

Lead Photo

While Christmas might be top of mind for many of e-retailers, some are focused on dressing up their Halloween sales.

Several online retailers—even ones that do not sell traditional Halloween products such as candy or costumes—are using the spooky day as a marketing tactic as the end of October draws near.

Makeup and beauty accessory retailer Ricky’s NYC, for example, sent an e-mail to its client list with several makeup tricks for creating the perfect face for those masquerading as Marilyn Monroe and famous ‘60s model Twiggy. “Spice up your Halloween look with some Hollywood-inspired makeup tricks,” the e-mail reads. “The best part? All of the makeup featured in these easy tutorials is affordable, high-quality and easily reusable for any party look!”

Food gift retailer Robert Rothschild Farm also tried to capture the Halloween spirit and stomachs of its customers via e-mail, offering 20% off to its customers in a Halloween-themed e-mail. An e-mail subject line for Wine Country Gift Baskets reads: “Happy Halloween - Free Shipping and up to 50% off.” The message highlighted discounts on Halloween gift baskets.

Naturally, retailers heavily focused on Halloween have upped their marketing ante for the holiday as well. Costume retailer SpencersOnline.com is running a superhero Halloween photo contest on Facebook. Shoppers can upload pictures of themselves dressed as superheroes, and the photo with the most votes gets a prize pack of superhero-themed gear from Spencer’s.

Two other costume retailers are also running giveaway promotions. SpiritHalloween.com has a Halloween décor giveaway where shoppers can enter to win mystery prizes each day in October. Spirit Halloween also offered $10 off a purchase of $30 or more in store or online, or free standard shipping on orders of $65 or more in an e-mail to its customer base.

And Oriental Trading, No. 77  in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, is doling out a $500 gift card each week of the month to one shopper who enters the giveaway contest.

ShopRunner, which sells a membership program offering consumers free shipping and other exclusive deals from a network of online and store retailers, has dressed up its marketing, sending an e-mail featuring sales at several of its retailer clients. The e-mail included 15% off costumes and décor at Buy Costumes and Costumes Express. 

Halloween Express, meanwhile, lived up to its name in an e-mail offering discounts on next-day and two-day delivery options, and highlighting free exchanges, same-day shipping and in-store pick-up options. It also spiced things up with a helpful link to its video: How to make the most of your Halloween costume, which features step-by-step instructions on how to use inexpensive makeup to create a look.


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