Data & Trends
Trick-or-treet (ToT) visitors by hour for the most recent season by hour, with previous 4 years for context and year-over-year comparison:
Costumed visitors for competitor businesses:
- Observation 1: 5
- Observation 2: 2
- Observation 3: 13
- Observation 4: 6
What Does It Mean?
This year’s event lands squarely within the first standard deviation of the last five years. Of course, it comes nowhere near the numbers of 10 years ago (e.g., 2004: 52 visitors), but a new lower pattern has been established. Relevant features include:
- No visitors prior to 6pm; earlier periods averaged 0.8 visitors before 6:00.
- Continuation of pattern of no visitors after 9pm.
- Establishment of a later peak time. Most visitors during 7:00 hour; a decade ago 73% of visitors arrived during the 6:00 hour.
The new dynamic can be traced back to the launch of competitor events such as this year’s Hunger Goblin Trick Or Treat, and Halloween on Holman. Increased competition from small business core areas in the neighborhood is meeting a majority of, but not all, demand.
What Should We Do?
Recommendation 1: A/B Test Better Candy
Competitor businesses were giving “fun size” and “bite size” selections of consumer-grade product. Test larger and higher quality options, using capturing at least metrics of visitor satisfaction rating and active word of mouth referrals (via exit survey question) as well as increased returning visitor percentage.
Recommendation 2: Reduce Hours
Given the reduced hours of visitors, focus on peak periods by only turning on the porch light between 6:00pm and 9:00pm. This reduces costs associated with Halloween overhead.
Costumed visitor metric based on photographic data taken between approximately 2:25 and 2:30pm on 31 Oct 2015 on the corner of the major intersection serving a main commercial street for the neighborhood. Costumes counted if waiting to cross or actively crossing the street.
An additional benefit to Recommendation 1 may also solve the identified problem of “too much damned candy left over.” While purchasing statistically-appropriate amounts is a direct way to address the problem, higher quality remainder product may result in a reduced perception of the leftovers as a problem in the first place…an indirect solution to be sure, but one to keep in mind during strategic planning for next year’s event.