Crafty Consumers: Shoppers Interested in a DIY Halloween

The scariest holiday of the year is just days away. Every Halloween, people stock up on candy, decorate their homes, and host parties. According to the National Retail Federation, 43% of Americans will dress up this year.[1] In short, advertisers have many opportunities to drive sales before October 31.

To help retailers and brands this Halloween, MaxPoint used its proprietary Digital Zip® technology to discover the profiles and top locations for the shoppers most interested in do-it-yourself (DIY) crafts. These crafty consumers create their own costumes and decorations for the Halloween season—and boost sales for craft retailers and brands.

A Look at Crafty Consumers
We kicked things off by looking at the group’s demographic profile. We found that crafty consumers tend to:

  • Be married
  • Have incomes up to $60,000
  • Have less than a college degree
  • Own their homes
  • Have kids currently living in their households

Next, we used our proprietary interest data to discover crafty consumers’ main interests. In addition to crafts, these shoppers frequent sites online about antiques, gardening, and flu remedies. With a strong interest in pets, they also account for some of the 13.8% of Americans who plan to find the perfect costumes for their feline and canine companions this Halloween.[2] 

A DIY Halloween doesn’t stop with crafts—these shoppers also prefer DIY treats over prepared foods. With this in mind, we looked into the top recipes these shoppers search for online. We found that they frequently cook up comfort foods like butternut squash soup, macaroni and cheese, caramel apples, spaghetti and meatballs, and grilled cheese sandwiches. Additionally, crafty consumers also search for recipes on homemade baked goods, such as pumpkin pie, cupcakes, cake pops, and cookies.

Finally, we analyzed the group’s spending patterns across multiple purchase categories using credit card transaction data. Crafty consumers spend most of their dollars at discount department stores, video and game rental stores, wholesale clubs, automotive retail stores, sporting goods stores, and general merchandise stores like dollar stores. This information can help brands focus their advertising efforts on drawing crafty consumers to the retailers they already know and trust.

The Craftiest Cities
By combining these four characteristics—demographics, interests, recipe searches, and credit card transactions—you can get a good picture of the ideal DIY Halloween shoppers. However, it’s not enough to know just who these shoppers are. To really get strong returns, you also have to know where these shoppers live. We ran the numbers and found that the top 10 cities for crafty consumers are:

  • Albany, NY
  • Bangor, ME
  • Boston, MA
  • Buffalo, NY
  • Burlington, VT
  • New York, NY
  • Portland, ME
  • Syracuse, NY
  • Washington, DC
  • Wilkes-Barre, PA

Each city on this list contains more crafty consumers than the national average. However, not every neighborhood within each city contains crafty consumers. With this in mind, crafts advertisers can drive even stronger returns by targeting only those neighborhoods that care about creating a DIY Halloween.

For example, within Albany, the crafty consumers cluster in the neighborhoods of Castle-on-Hudson, Feura Bush, and Selkirk. These neighborhoods drive the lion’s share of craft purchases for the city, and they should be the focus of any digital advertising push for crafts. However, the neighborhoods of Delmar, Slingerlands, and Westmere have the least amount of crafty consumers within New York’s capital and should be avoided when targeting within Albany. This demonstrates the importance of zooming in on neighborhoods, rather than the DMA, to really boost advertising responses.

What This Means for Advertisers
Advertisers can use the data above to reach crafty consumers both during the Halloween season and beyond. For example, national retailers that carry craft supplies may increase their national ad buys in neighborhoods within the top 10 cities. Additionally, they can increase the appeal of their ads by incorporating imagery related to crafty consumers’ interests, such as animals or antiques.

With Halloween just days away, retailers need to focus their advertising efforts on the right shoppers. When you use the right data to find the right houses, you know you’ll get the advertising treats—and avoid all the tricks.

MaxPoint in Action
Using its Digital Zip technology, MaxPoint has run promotions for retailers looking to boost craft supply sales as well as for brands running Halloween promotions:

  • North American Arts and Crafts Retailer—The largest arts and crafts retailer in North America turned to MaxPoint to drive in-store purchases via weekly sales and specials. We targeted shoppers aged 35–55, who had children and household incomes below $100,000 per year. Additionally, we limited ad buys to shoppers within a 10-mile radius of store locations. The campaign produced a click-through rate more than twice the industry average.[3]
  • Chocolate Brand at National Dollar Retailer—A leading North American chocolate brand approached MaxPoint to help drive awareness of its products at dollar stores for the Halloween season. We targeted shoppers located within six miles of the dollar stores. These shoppers had annual incomes below $40,000 and children in the house. We further narrowed the target audience to those shoppers who purchased from the brand’s competition, allowing us to help the candy brand gain market share.
  • Candy Brand at Global Big Box Retailer—A top selling CPG candy brand sought to boost its Halloween candy sales at one of its big box retail partners. We targeted rich media ad buys to mothers aged 35–44 who had an interest in baking and recipes and who had already purchased candy from the candy brand. We focused on neighborhoods located within driving distance (six to eight miles) of stores. The campaign helped the candy brand reach crowds of qualified shoppers and drive more foot traffic to retail stores that carry the candy.  


[2]. Ibid.

[3] Industry average estimated at .09%.