It may surprise no one that Halloween is one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year. “With 170 million Americans participating in Halloween festivities, there’s a lot of cash being spent on ghoulish items,” said a Mashable post. In fact, a whopping $8 billion will be spent on Halloween this year according to a National Retail Federation consumer-spending survey conducted by consumer information research company BIGinsight.

What may seem surprising at first (but then not so much when you think about it) is where people are getting ideas for Halloween costumes and decorations.

Want to guess? If Pinterest comes to mind, you are exactly right. People are turning to social networks like Pinterest and Facebook for inspiration, and you can be sure that when ideas are needed, retailers won’t be far behind in providing them.

National Retail Federation Halloween costume idea chart

For example, Costume Works, a seller of handmade Halloween costumes, is leveraging Pinterest to the hilt with pinboards covering everything from Lego and pet costumes to makeup ideas, decorations and more, many of which come from a Halloween costume contest the company runs each year.

Costume Works pinboards

Another retailer, BeautyLish, provides last-minute makeup ideas both on its website (which can be shared via Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter) and its Pinterest account.

Of course, where Pinterest shines is when individual members pin or repin items that interest them. That’s exactly what a member who identifies herself as “Janet J” has done on her 2012 Halloween Ideas board. Many of the items pinned come from Costume Works own boards.

Janet J 2012 Halloween ideas pinboard

And where social commerce is concerned, for those who want to learn more or perhaps make a purchase, each of these retailers’ websites is only a couple of clicks away.

“There’s certainly pent-up demand for having some fun this year and shoppers are planning to spend their hard-earned dollars on items that help them get into the Halloween spirit,” said BIGinsight Executive Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, Phil Rist. That’s good news for retailers, especially those that take advantage of the social commerce benefits provided by Pinterest.

Today’s article is sponsored by Payvment: The #1 Social Commerce Platform