What Halloween Costumes Reveal About Consumer Behavior

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This year, consumers are projected to spend a record amount on Halloween products, thanks to candy, costumes, and pop culture properties. What consumers are buying for Halloween is a reflection of how technology is changing the way we think and behave. Costumes alone are expected to account for approximately half of this spending, which is an 8.3% increase over last year.


A recent survey found that most consumers plan to buy Halloween costumes in stores this year. This marks a rare break from the trend of most consumers making purchases online. While 22.3% of consumers plan to make their purchases online, the rest plan to visit department stores, discount stores, grocery stores, and specialty Halloween stores. The trend toward licensed costumes is especially apparent among millennials and young adults, who are more likely to choose costumes based on a popular television show or film. Gender roles also play a role in costume purchase. While women’s costumes tend to be sexy, like a sexy maid Halloween costume, men are more likely to opt for costumes that portray a male role. For example, a researcher once observed a child wearing a pink bunny costume, saying, “That child is so cute!” The parents immediately responded, “That’s our son.” These behaviors indicate a lingering gender stereotype that consumers must deal with.


Researchers found that 42 percent of consumers like to mix and match secondhand and new costumes. Another 67 percent of costume buyers want to purchase multiple pieces and save money. One-third of Halloween costume shoppers spent under $25, while another 32 percent spent between $25 and $50. Halloween is an annual celebration characterized by various consumer behaviors and rituals. Costumes are powerful social communicators, conveying social meaning and symbolic value. In addition to their role as a transformation device, costumes convey personal identity. They provide an opportunity for creativity and self-expression. Gender socialization permeates the costume-purchasing process. 


The value of Halloween costumes is largely determined by consumer behavior. Consumers may get 2022 sexy Halloween costume ideas to feel different from other people, or they do it for pure enjoyment. Consumer researchers argue that the value of consumption experiences lies in fun, feelings, and creativity, and Halloween costumes can offer all three. So while costuming may seem uncomfortable and overly commercial, it is an outlet for creativity worth exploring.

Consumer behavior during Halloween is changing. Some shoppers say the economy will affect their shopping habits this year, and many are finding creative ways to cut costs. For instance, some will opt to make their costumes instead of buying one. In addition, some have decided not to give out candy this year.

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