At any point in the year there appears to be a sale. From August to December in particular, major shopping festivals are held on e-commerce websites every year.
8.8, 9.9, 10.10 and the hugely celebrated 11.11 are just some of the most important dates on the online shopping calendar.
The ones that dominate this space are the top three online marketplaces, Shopee, Lazada, and Qoo10 (in terms of traffic).
But who drove those sales and what is different from any online shopping event?
Typically, events like Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday are shopping holidays that focus on discounts.
On the other hand, days like 11/11 and 6:18 in China are shopping festivals where consumers come together to enjoy entertainment and brand new product launches.
Before the biggest sale in the world – 11.11. – the shopping festivals are on 8.8, 9.9 and 10.10.
The August 8 shopping festival usually takes place at the end of Singapore’s national holiday, such as the Lazada National Day Sale.
Photo credit: why not offers
So far, none of the ecommerce platforms have come forward claiming they were the first to start selling.
For one, at 8.8, you can expect discounts on local products from local brands, cashback, flash coupons, freebies, giveaways, and competitions.
In the entertainment sector, the focus this year has been on content that is focused on Singapore. Buyers have been asked to watch Singaporean shows which will give them pointers on how to get virtual coupons in the app.
On the other hand, the 9.9 sale was first introduced to accommodate the rapid growth of the e-commerce industry in Southeast Asia and Taiwan.
The 9.9 sale is usually the start of the string of year-end sales and marks the start of our year-end shopping spree. Apparently, Shopee pioneered the 9.9 Shopping Vacation in 2016.
This was the time when things got faster and more aggressive with the frequency and appeal of offers, discounts, flash coupons, freebies, giveaways, and competitions increasing.
There is no doubt that you can expect more hype and activity as Shopee will show they live up to their pioneering title.
There’s also more buzz about live streaming shows, in-app games that offer rewards, and more.
Image credit: cardable
On 10.10. At the shopping festival, retailers “warm up” before November. Apparently, Qoo10 is celebrating its birthday with their 10/10 Birthday Bash.
Sales 9.9 and 10.10 can be used as a strategy to re-engage old consumers or to give new customers a new incentive to shop with them.
In addition, retailers can use collective advertising for both sales to create timed shopping moods while spreading awareness among retailers.
This also helps consumers plan their vacation shopping earlier so they don’t have to wait until November 11, which can put pressure on shipping capacity.
The first floor of the online sales events
Double 11, also known as Singles’ Day, was born as a shopping festival that was first launched by Alibaba in 2009. Bachelors used the number “1” to resemble singles.
The hyped shopping festival takes place on November 11th and is the largest and most popular annual global shopping festival in the world – it overshadows Black Friday and Cyber Monday together.
More e-commerce platforms have followed since 2009, all of which are trying to generate some of the sales in the increasingly competitive but lucrative e-commerce market.
A screen shows sales information during Tmall Global Shopping Festival 2020 on Singles’ Day at a media center in Hangzhou, east China’s Zhejiang Province / photo credit: AFP
In that 10-year period, the shopping festival has gone from celebrating the single to a nationwide, all-site shopping craze.
It is the “true OG (Original Gangster)” of online sales events like 8/8, 9/9, and 10/10 that preceded it.
So what can you expect during 11/11?
For one, companies, including some of the biggest brands in the world, use 11.11 as a vehicle to bring new products to market.
It’s a rapid combination of sales promotion, sales incentives, entertainment, variety and the fear of missing out.
The groundwork that successful brands must do before a shopping festival to ensure that their brands, their products and their offerings are in front of the eyes of consumers is enormous.
There’s also work that good brands do themselves in the day, looking at real-time sales data and making price corrections instantly to maximize that time.
In China, Alibabas 11.11 differs from other shopping festivals in how collaborative it is – not with you as an individual, but with you as a shared experience with your friends, colleagues, and key opinion leaders you follow.
In Singapore, sales of a similar magnitude can be expected. Lazada, Alibaba’s Southeast Asian e-commerce business, is said to be here 11/11. Has done pioneering work.
Similar to China, top influencers are involved in front-line campaigns. For example, Lazada hired Korean superstar Lee Min Ho to drive this year’s sales campaign.
Lee Min Ho for Lazada / Photo credit: Lazada
You can play games to win discounts, invite friends, get more coupons or gifts, expect limited-time flash offers several times a day through November 11, and weekly live streams with more offers.
There are also themed promotions like free shipping with a minimum of $ 11, cashback of 11 percent, offers of $ 11, or discounts of $ 11.
These characteristics were later adopted by the other shopping festivals.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday
On a smaller scale than the larger Singapore shopping festivals are Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Black Friday falls on November 27th, the day after Thanksgiving, a major US holiday.
BlackImage Credit: IDEX Online
It usually consists of special shopping deals and high discounts and is considered the start of the western Christmas shopping season.
Retailers use this day as an opportunity to offer rock-bottom prices for overstock and offer door knockers and discounts on seasonal items such as Christmas decorations and typical Christmas gifts.
On the other hand, Cyber Monday (November 30th) is the first working day after the long holiday weekend for many consumers.
It was reportedly created by retailers to encourage people to shop online for a number of reasons.
For one, many people don’t want to spend time outside of the family during the vacation to get a bargain, while others don’t want to wait in the long lines that form on Black Friday.
Photo credit: DealNews
Cyber Monday offers consumers a convenient and hassle-free way to shop and redeem great deals.
In Singapore, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are arguably 11/11 and are usually not as hyped as 11/11.
This could be because these are traditionally American occasions, but that doesn’t mean you should miss these two days of shopping.
While discounts continue to be offered, you may find more attractive deals on US and UK websites than websites in Singapore or China.
After Cyber Monday the 12.12. Shopping festival held for people who want to get Christmas gifts before it’s too late or for those who have missed previous sales.
Shopee celebrates its anniversary with its annual 12.12. Birthday sale and celebrating his fifth birthday.
If we’ve learned something in recent years, there’s always a promotion waiting in one place or another.
Marketing tactics through the e-commerce platforms
We all agree that sales events are marketing strategies for increasing sales.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday usually just focus on discounts, while the major shopping festivals present different strategies and tactics of the e-commerce platforms.
The August through October hype is helping to raise retailer awareness and attract customers for the biggest November sales.
It also helps to remind and entice buyers to purchase an item that they have had their eyes on since August or October.
After all, the 12/12 end of the year is a “last chance” for those who missed previous sales and are getting their last minute Christmas gifts.
With ecommerce platforms breaking their sales records every year, these strategies work very well.
Selected image source: Lazada / Shopee