Winning Strategies for Singles’ Day 2020

Singles’ Day Shopping
August 18, 2022

Who doesn’t love a good bargain?

Cyber Monday and Black Friday have become huge annual shopping events in the western world, providing eager customers with discounted products on their favorite brands.

Another huge annual event for retailers is China’s Singles’ Day. For the past few years, this November-11 holiday has been breaking records, becoming the world's largest 24-hour shopping event with a 26% increase in 2019 from 2018.

So how can you get shoppers’ attention on Singles’ Day?

What is Singles’ Day?

Let’s start from the beginning. As the name suggests, Singles’ Day started as an unofficial celebration for one’s singledom, founded in the 1990s by Chinese university students. The date 11/11 was chosen because it resembles four bare sticks, which is fittingly full of the number one to symbolize solo living.

It started small and ultimately grew into a huge annual event with all of China celebrating.

In 2009, Alibaba saw an opportunity to leverage Singles’ Day for the retail calendar, providing discounts of up to 95%, making Singles’ Day what it is now.

What about Singles’ Day 2020?

This is the 12th year that Alibaba Group has held "Double 11". This year’s Double 11 Festival will be upgraded to a “shopping carnival” divided into two sales periods. The first wave of sales starts November 1, and the second wave begins November 11.

It is predicted that at least 250,000 brands, 5 million small and medium-sized businesses, new domestic businesses, foreign trade companies, factories, and agricultural businesses will participate in this year's event.



Strategies for Success

With the incentive of large volumes of traffic, increased sales, and potential to attract lots of new customers, the competition among retailers is fierce. So how can you stand out?

Below are some strategic suggestions.

Before the Event:

1) Optimize your marketplace.
Keyword-rich, high-quality content is key to increasing marketplace traffic and conversion. Optimize your product listings for relevant search terms to ensure you’re being discovered ahead of your competition.

2) Be social.
Generate curiosity and build excitement around Singles’ Day. Tease the audience with compelling content, like a Double 11 shopping guide to yield temptation for purchase.

Grab shopper’s attention early by sharing deals in various forums and promoting them on social media. The idea is to have your brand at the forefront of the shoppers’ mind, create a buying atmosphere, and motivate consumers to buy your products.

3) Spread the word.
Utilize the power of word-of-mouth. Give existing brand advocates a first look at what’s in store and a chance to reserve their favorite products before the public. Those lucky members will help you promote the brand as they spread the word in the community.

To make more impact, offer member-only discounts for Double 11 purchases, members-only pricing on select products, and unique access to shopping events and training sessions. The temptation of getting exclusive offers attracts potential customers to put a membership in their basket.

4) Set the scene.
Put shoppers in a buying mood with an eye-catching presale.

And if you’re new to this year’s event, Tmall supports first-time brands by offering a priority for presale on November 1 – the same time as the 1st wave.

On Singles' Day 2020:

1) First purchase incentives and customer loyalty rewards.
For example, L’OREAL offered all new members a $5 coupon and an 11x multiplier for their member points reward, incentivizing both first-time purchases and large purchases.

2) Use the power of language to drive sales.
Run promotional ads on social media to sell products in limited quantities and at low prices, using magic words such as "last X pieces", and "last XX time".

After November 11:

Extend the Singles’ Day Sales Event and drive repeat visits.
As large sales events like these drive large levels of traffic to sites, it can make sense for brands to ease pressure on their site – as well as customer services, warehouse staff, and couriers – by extending the sales event.

For example, IKEA APAC turns the event into 11 days of sales, with 20% off selected products every day. This gives shoppers a reason to visit the site each day up to Singles’ Day and reasons to come back again and again.

So, there you have it – strategic opportunities for you to optimize your sales regime during Singles’ Day 2020. Make the most of it by promoting content before, during, and after the event. And make sure your content is optimized, engaging, and targeting the appropriate audience.

For further assistance in developing international retail strategies to make events like Singles’ Day a success, contact us at TPT Digital.

Fiona Yeung, TPT Digital