When looking for Halloween inspiration, 65% of millennials scour social media, according to a study by Alliance Data that was emailed to Retail Dive. Pinterest and Facebook ranked highest across the bar, from decor to party food, and 61% of millennials used Pinterest for costume inspiration, followed by Facebook (51%).
While social media is popular for Halloween inspiration, millennials also go into stores and look around (66%), talk to friends and family (50%), go to store websites (37%), read online blogs (23%), check magazines (23%) and read advertisements (22%) for inspiration, Alliance Data found.
A separate study by Bazaarvoice found that Halloween costume research kicked off during the third week of September and that the lowest-rated costume of 2017 is a "Women’s Secret Santa" costume, while the highest rated is a "Captain Phasma Costume for Kids" from "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."
Halloween this year is set to be bigger than ever, with consumers expected to spend a record $9.1 billion on the holiday — an 8.3% increase from last year. Millennials are a good chunk of that spend — from young parents taking their kids trick-or-treating to young adults just looking to have a good time.
According to Alliance Data, 63% of millennials plan to dress up in a costume for the event, put out decorations (62%), pass out candy (51%), go trick-or-treating (45%), attend a Halloween party (41%) or throw their own Halloween party (18%).
Alliance Data also found that certain themes were popular with millennials when choosing a Halloween costume. Among the favorites, millennials liked basing costumes off of their favorite characters or superheroes (70%), Halloween classics like ghosts (70%), movies and TV (59%), celebrities and pop culture (38%) and adult humor (33%), according to the study.
Retailers looking to capture millennial spend might do well to tap into those trends, as well as taking inventory lessons from Bazaarvoice’s least and most popular costumes. Bazaarvoice found that certain pet costumes also hit it big, in particular the "Pet Star Wars Ewok Costume" and the "Pet DC Comics Wonder Woman Deluxe Costume," which topped in 2016.
Whether consumers are buying pre-made costumes or putting together their own, a large number (39%) are making only two trips to the store, followed by 23% who make three trips and 19% who only make one.
All-in-all, retailers don’t have that many chances to capture consumer spend during Halloween. Making sure Halloween displays are visible and follow popular trends could do a lot to win over the millennial crowd.