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Halloween becoming a bigger mobile shopping deal than Christmas…

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More mobile searches for goods happen around Halloween than Christmas, according to interesting new research just ahead of the spookfest.

Research carried out by Marler Haley has identified that in the UK, more people search for Halloween in October than Christmas in December – and on mobile the difference is more pronounced than online. In 2016, 47% of total searches were for Christmas, while 63% were for Halloween. Extrapolating these figures, Marler Haley concludes that more than 75% of searches for Halloween related content this year will be mobile.

The research goes on to predict that the percentage of searches on mobile has now surpassed 50% of total searches. For the year to date, 51%. Mobile growth for Christmas continues to be strong at around 20% year on year and the total annual trends for 2017 suggest a potential overall decline in traffic (year to date -3% decline year on year).

The start of Christmas?

The figures shouldn’t come as too much of a shock for retailers. Halloween is increasingly being seen as the start of the holiday shopping season – forget Black Friday: this year it is pretty much two months of increasingly frantic selling. According to research by Bazaarvoice, the first big spike in online shopping traffic takes place on Halloween, with 260% more online traffic than normal, with steady increases and large spikes taking place in the lead-up to Christmas.

According to the company, Black Friday (620%) and Cyber Monday (420%) see the next largest spikes, before the peak in the week before Christmas during which time there is 800% more traffic than normal.

This is backed up by the Marler Haley study which concludes that, while Halloween gets more search traffic, Christmas has a much longer search tail, with people starting their festive searches in September.

In fact, 69% of Halloween’s annual search volume is in October as compared to Christmas, where December has 48% of its annual search volume. This aggregated search trend means that Christmas has an annual search volume of 17.7 million in the UK as compared to Halloween’s 14.6 million (as of 2016).

Andrew Pocock, Marler Haley’s managing director comments: “We were shocked to see that more people search for Halloween related content in October than Christmas in December in the UK. For businesses, search trends play an important role in understanding when to launch seasonal content. These findings highlight that when developing seasonal content, not every UK holiday or celebration should be treated with the same development timeline.”

He continues: “People begin to search with earnest for both Halloween and Christmas in September, even though the celebrations are two months apart. This suggests that if you’re planning seasonal content for your business, then it’s best to check the seasonality for the exact holiday you’re planning for to maximise potential traffic and profit.”

What do they buy at Halloween?

According to Bazaarvoice, people start planning their Halloween costume about six weeks before Halloween, with increased page views for costumes starting around the third week of September.

Online shoppers’ favourite costume is Captain Phasma from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Pets are also getting in on the Halloween act – the most purchased pet costumes in 2016 were Star Wars Ewok and Wonder Woman.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is the most popular zombie film at Halloween, with more DVD and bluray pageviews than any other.

See more in this handy infographic

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