The holidays are approaching, meaning increased revenues for retail businesses. While Black Friday kicks off the official holiday shopping season, consider Halloween as a powerful prelude to the shopping rush. Sellers who take full advantage of the Halloween holiday stand to significantly boost their bottom line.

As with other holidays, the challenge with Halloween is distinguishing yourself from your competitors. Many companies will be selling the same types of merchandise. Here are a few tips to help you stand out from the crowd of retailers in the lead-up to Halloween:

  • Sell ahead of time — To avoid the inevitable holiday rush, many customers have started buying products earlier. Google has reported that a fourth of American shoppers search for holiday-themed products long before Halloween. Having your inventory and your promotions ready well before the holiday can give you a distinct advantage.
  • Lower your price and offer deals — You can attract more customers by offering your products at discounted prices, even if they are just a few cents below your competitors’ rates. Try offering promotions and flash sales throughout the weeks or days leading up to Halloween. This can help you attract the attention of many customers and sell out specific products. Additionally, if you create a calendar of products that will be on sale and promote it ahead of time, you can lure in even more customers.
  • Utilize social media — Social media is a great way to engage potential customers. Create infographics and other unique shareable content to catch the interest of shoppers on these platforms. You can also promote certain products or services leading up to the holiday. Another idea is to create contests for customers to win products. Using a wide variety of social media platforms can help you reach more potential customers and increase your online visibility during the season.
  • Provide free shipping — Few things attract online customers faster than the words “free shipping.” If other websites aren’t doing the same, this will give you an edge and increase your sales.
  • Optimize your mobile site — More and more people are turning to their mobile devices to shop for things online. In fact, more than 50 percent of online shopping occurs on a tablet or smartphone, making mobile optimization crucial for reaching customers. Make sure to optimize your mobile website so that people can more easily find your products and services among your competitors.

While competition during the holidays can be fierce, if you make smart marketing decisions and promote ahead of time, you’ll be sure to have success during the Halloween season.