While digital activity is by no means a new tactic for Sam’s Club around the holidays, there is a larger emphasis on it this year as digital sales have skyrocketed in recent months. Sam’s Club and its brand partners have reflected that shift in shopper behavior in this year's shopper marketing efforts, though the warehouse club chain made sure to have a complete selection of Halloween decor and candy available in stores as well.
Samsclub.com has been inundated with a slew of Halloween activity, particularly from major confectionery manufacturers. Hershey Co., for example, staged a dedicated samsclub.com showcase employing a large "Make it a heroic Halloween" display ad and spotlighting a DC Comics’ Justice League-themed “Trick or Treat Mix” candy bar multi-pack available exclusively at the warehouse club. The product contains 12 Reese's peanut butter "Franken-cups," 12 Hershey's super hero milk chocolate bars and 12 Kit Kat bars with bat wrapping.
The showcase also emphasizes festive, kid-friendly recipes and corrals related Hershey products. Four recipes provided by Hershey are highlighted on the destination, including two video recipes that “make staying in sooo worth it.” Multiple email ads in Sam's Club emails have linked to the showcase or an e-commerce page corralling related Halloween candy products from the manufacturer.
Influencer and blogger outreach rounded out the partners’ Halloween efforts. Hershey commissioned influencers for sponsored social media and blog updates directing consumers to Sam’s Club for their Halloween necessities. Some influencers such as @tatertotsandjello teamed up with the manufacturer on a “You’ve been booed” charcuterie board with Hershey’s "Shapes" variety bag and free printable signs for making a board or basket to safely celebrate the holiday with friends. Hershey even elevated the influencer's posts in sponsored Instagram ads linking to samsclub.com using the platform's “Swipe Up” capability.
Other manufacturers including Mars Inc. conducted similar efforts with Sam’s Club. The warehouse club's own dedicated Halloween showcase offers more festive recipes – including “Halloween Brownies with [Mars Inc.’s] M&M’s,” “Twix Bar Caramel Popcorn” and “[Kellogg Co.’s] Rice Crispy Bundt Cake” under a “Simple sweets? A real treat” message that linked to a dedicated Mars showcase via a “Get Inspired” button. The Mars showcase offers different inspiration including printable “You’ve Been Booed” cards as well as printable Halloween bingo cards and step-by-step instructions on how to create a DIY mummy-inspired bowl for candy.
In other related activity:
- Tyson Foods ran a digital campaign spanning multiple email and samsclub.com display ads that directed to a dedicated e-commerce page within the retailer’s website. The site corralled select products from the manufacturer’s flagship, State Fair, Ball Park and Hillshire brands.
- Nestle Purina invited shoppers to “celebrate every occasion” with the pet brand and “pick up Halloween treats!” at the warehouse club using a slew of digital tactics including dedicated display and leaderboard ads within samsclub.com. A “Shop Now” button directed to a dedicated e-commerce shop corralling dog and cat treats.
- Hostess secured an “Easy treats? A Hallow-win” leaderboard ad inviting shoppers to “set these snacks out and watch them disappear” within the retailer’s website that linked to an e-commerce page corralling 13 related products.
- Ferrera Candy Co. ran "Make Halloween Treats Boo-tiful" display and email ads linking to a "Ferrara Halloween Candy" e-commerce page corralling 11 SKUs within samsclub.com.
Sam’s Club is also already gearing up for Thanksgiving and the winter holidays in a similar, digital-friendly fashion. The retailer just debuted a new virtual experience for the holidays that draws inspiration from the Griswold family home in the classic film “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” The experience allows shoppers to tour its many rooms and shop for store brand decorations, foods and national brand gift ideas directly from the Sam’s Club site.
NOTE: For more photos of this campaign, visit p2pi.org. Path to Purchase Institute members have access to more than 260 articles and 1,700 photos of merchandising and marketing activity at Sam's Club, along with a full Retailer Profile outlining the chain’s operations and strategies.