Skip to main content

Every year, around September, searches for ‘costumes’ and related keywords start spiking, not just in the USA but also in England and the rest of the UK. This is, of course, due to Halloween, which is celebrated more and more popularly in the UK on the 31st of October.

Back in 2004, when Google and online shopping started growing, the trend started becoming visible. Since then, the volume of searches for ‘costumes’ around the Halloween period have spiked higher and higher, year upon year.

Comparative volume of searches for ‘Costume’ in 2004, 2006, 2009, 2011

A walk down the English High Street today reflects the growing popularity of what was once considered to be a solely American “festival”. Similarly, the number of children and adults dressing up on Halloween day is also growing steadily.

If the numbers to date are anything to go by, 2011 seems on its way to become the biggest ever day for online fancy dress retailers in the UK. Considering the corresponding search volume in October 2010, this means that over11 million searches for ‘costumes’ will be carried out in the UK during the month of October 2011 alone.

Spikes in search volumes around this period aren’t limited to regular Web search. Image searches spike even more sharply in the 2nd and 3rd weeks of October and product searches also get bumped up a good bit from the last week of September till the 3rd week of October.

As more retailers rush to capitalise on the opportunity, costs per click also spike during the same time. Recognised brands, retailers with guaranteed delivery and those with popular costumes in stock are the most likely winners in such a situation.