Americans Start their Halloween Shopping Weeks and Even Months Early

National Survey Reveals Adults Prefer to Purchase Halloween Gear in Retail Stores Rather than Online

Oct 21, 2015, 08:30 ET from Blue Fountain Media

NEW YORK, Oct. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Halloween is rapidly approaching but the rush to shop may be far behind since 99 percent of Americans who buy candy, costumes and tricks to celebrate typically start to do so well in advance of Oct. 31—weeks if not months ahead.

In fact, 66 percent of U.S. adults, ages 18 and over who shop for Halloween, start to do so before, or in, early October with 4 percent shopping in August or even earlier. Seventy-four percent start to shop for Halloween in October, with 40 percent saying they start in early October, 21 percent start a week before, 10 percent start shopping a few days before, 2 percent start a day before and just 1 percent of those who shop for Halloween start doing so on Halloween itself.

Younger adults appear more anxious to get a head start on their costume shopping than older adults—32 percent of those ages 18–44 who shop for Halloween start their shopping before October compared to 19 percent of adults ages 45 and older. Women (44 percent) who shop for Halloween are more likely than men (36 percent) to start shopping in early October, whereas men (14 percent) are twice as likely as women (7 percent) to start shopping a few days before Halloween.

The findings are part of a national study conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Blue Fountain Media (, a full-service digital agency focused on growing brands online, in September 2015 among over 1,300 U.S. adults ages 18+ who shop for Halloween.

Halloween Purchases and Online Shopping

A vast majority of Americans who shop for Halloween prefer to shop in a physical store (94 percent) with 27 percent indicating they prefer to shop online and 20 percent doing so through an online-only retailer such as, and, while 18 percent prefer to make Halloween purchases through an online retailer such as, and Six percent prefer to make Halloween purchases through a catalog and 2 percent over the phone.

"The difference between those who shop for Halloween in-store versus online appears to center on generational differences in shopping behavior," said Gabriel Shaoolian, founder and CEO, Blue Fountain Media. "In-store Halloween purchases among those 55 and older is a striking 99 percent; while 39 percent of those younger than 45 prefer to make purchases online. This sizeable market of online Halloween shoppers represents billions of dollars of consumer spending that is a prize worth fighting for, and may be why we see e-commerce retailers investing more into their digital marketing initiatives."

Other survey findings:

Benefits of Online Halloween Shopping

Why shop online for Halloween goods? It's likely due to free shipping according to 57 percent of American adults who shop for Halloween who say it's the most valuable asset about shopping online. Other reasons cited include wider selection of products/retailers (50 percent), lower prices (47 percent), time savings (46 percent), ease of comparing prices from different online retailers (41 percent) and ease of shopping (40 percent).

"Our Halloween survey findings provide fascinating insights into American shopping habits and differences by age. We're still in the early days of ecommerce activity; the market will continue to evolve as younger adults, who prefer online shopping, slowly displace older adults with more traditional offline retail shopping tendencies," said Mr. Shaoolian. "Online merchants who 'up their game now' by optimizing their websites to convert traffic from digital marketing initiatives like search engine marketing and SEO stand the greatest chance of becoming a significant player in their vertical while increasing their percentage of overall retail sales."

Halloween-Related Advertisements

Half (51 percent) of those who shop for Halloween prefer to receive Halloween-related advertisements through print (e.g., newspapers, magazines, catalogs and flyers). More than a third (36 percent) prefer their Halloween ads delivered on TV; nearly three out of 10 adults (29 percent) prefer their Halloween-related ads and promotions via email; and 20 percent cite social media as their preferred advertising channel. Other preferences include radio ads (12 percent), banner ads (11 percent), search engine ads (9 percent) and text message advertising (5 percent). Nearly a quarter (24 percent) of those who shop for Halloween do not prefer to receive any Halloween-related ads.

Age and gender provide some insights into how people who shop for Halloween prefer to receive their Halloween-related advertising. Young adults ages 18-34 are more likely than those 35+ to prefer Halloween-related advertisements through TV ads (46 percent versus 30 percent) and social media ads (36 percent versus 10 percent). Women are more likely than men to prefer print advertisements (55 percent versus 47 percent) and email ads and promotions (34 percent versus 25 percent).

Survey methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Blue Fountain Media from September 18-22, 2015 among 2,016 adults ages 18 and older (of whom 1,313 (69 percent) shop for Halloween). This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete research method, including weighting variables, please contact Bennie Sham or Rick Anderson at  

About Blue Fountain Media

Blue Fountain Media is a digital agency in NYC focused on growing brands online through effective websites and online marketing. From start-ups to Fortune 1000s, Blue Fountain Media helps generate more leads and increased brand recognition. In 2014, the company, which has a client roster that includes Procter & Gamble, Harper Collins, Canon, NFL, Publishers Clearing House, Sharp, AOL and the United Nations, drove more than 200 million monthly visitors and $2 billion in revenue to the digital properties of its clients.

Media Contacts
Paige Weiners
Blue Fountain Media

Bennie Sham/Rick Anderson
Feintuch Communications

Editor's Note: An infographic illustrating this Halloween survey is available at

SOURCE Blue Fountain Media