Social media influences US Halloween spending

American consumers are increasingly looking to social media for their Halloween inspiration, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics.

Online searches remain the top source of Halloween inspiration, cited by 35% of the 7,400 survey respondents, followed by browsing in stores at 28% and ideas from friends and family at 20%. Pinterest came top with 18% of those surveyed using it, while 14% cited both YouTube and Instagram.

Shoppers also reported they are likely to spend an average of $86.27, down slightly on last year’s $86.79. This year’s total spend –  $8.8 billion – is expected to be the third-highest in the survey’s 15-year history, after the record $9.1 billion set in 2017.

The survey also revealed that a total of 172 million people plan to celebrate Halloween in 2019 – 68% of those surveyed – down from 175 million last year. Those who are celebrating expect to spend $3.2 billion on costumes (purchased by 67% of Halloween shoppers) and $2.7 billion on decorations (72%).

“Spending hasn’t changed much over the past few years, but we are seeing a noticeable increase in consumers whose Halloween purchases are inspired by their friends, neighbours and even celebrities on social media,” said NRF president and ceo Matthew Shay. “Retailers expect to have another strong Halloween season and have stocked up on candy, decorations and the season’s most popular costumes.”

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