Uncovering Non-Seasonal Traffic Patterns in a Seasonal Niche

Halloween was on my mind today.  With Labor Day over and chilly, rainy weather clouding up my week and reminding me of the fall season I begin to look forward to what is (in my opinion) the best holiday of the year.  This got me thinking of what costume I would wear this year, and so I started visiting a few costume supply retailers online.

Wondering who else could possibly be visiting these retailers in September I was happy to see that I was not alone in my madness!

When comparing a few of the larger costumer shops, a basic chart highlighting Unique Visitors shows the obvious spike in traffic in October.  However, taking at look at two other charts shows something interesting…

Neither the number of visits per person nor the average length of time spent on site saw the same spike in October, and were spread out more evenly throughout the year.

While the actual traffic spike may occur in October, time spent on these sites and the number of visits per user began to increase in June and generally peaked in September.

To me this means that while many last-minute shoppers are frantically visiting costume sites in October, true Halloween fans take their costume planning a bit more seriously and begin planning in the summer,   performing cross-site comparisons and taking their time to browse.  As an online advertiser I might look to reach these early birds differently than the October slackers willing to take any Harry Potter costume left standing!

Have you discovered any unexpected or interesting traffic patterns while analyzing your niche?  Please Share!