How HalloweenCostumes.com Scared Up Holiday Sales Thanks to PayPal
Did you know that Halloween has turned into one of the biggest retail holidays of the year? According to the National Retail Federation, Americans were on track to spend $6.9 billion on Halloween costumes, decor and candy this year.
In the spirit of the season, I thought I'd check in with North Mankato, Minn.-based HalloweenCostumes.com, a leading online Halloween costume destination, to see how it was faring this season. HalloweenCostumes.com was started 10 years ago out of a garage; today it receives hundreds of thousands of costume orders during the Halloween season. The company attributes its growth and success to several factors, including leveraging scalable technology from partners such as PayPal, Google and Amazon.com.
It also relies on a "customer first" business plan that provides a fast, secure, “no surprises checkout" policy, which it's been able to attain with PayPal. HalloweenCostumes.com has used PayPal for checkout transactions for the past six years, helping it to increase its sales by an average of 15 percent over the past two years.
Here are some excerpts from a recent discussion I had with Mark Bietz, vice president of marketing at HalloweenCostumes.com.
Melissa Campanelli: How is this Halloween season different than last year's?
Mark Bietz: The holiday season has changed from a retail perspective this year in two different ways. First, mobile has accounted for a much larger share of traffic. And second, many retailers are using more channels for customer acquisition than they have in the past.
MC: Tell me about your "customer first" business plan and how PayPal fits into it?
MB: Our business is focused on constantly improving customer experiences. In fact, our exclusive product-to-website experiences such as Fit Finder, a tool that helps ensure an accurate fit for all costumes, all come from feedback that we receive. PayPal fits right into this model, as it allows our customers a speedy, secure and hassle-free checkout by not having to type in all of their billing, shipping and payment information. We received feedback from our customers that they wanted this.
MC: Can you point to specific results/stats around how PayPal has benefited HalloweenCostumes.com over the years?
MB: We’ve been working with PayPal for the past six years, and have relied on it to scale with our business over those years. In fact, between 2011 and 2012, PayPal Express Checkout transactions outpaced our overall growth by 30 percent, and we will be near that for this year. We believe this is partially due to the ease of checkout — and PayPal allows for that.
MC: What are the most popular costumes this year?
MB: The most popular costumes this year include Miley Cyrus, "Duck Dynasty," minions (from "Despicable Me"), "Monsters University," ninjas and superheroes.
Happy Halloween everyone!