February has Valentine’s, November has Thanksgiving, and December has Christmas. All these holidays mark shopping seasons that often see high online traffic and spending that e-commerce stores can capitalize on.
This November 11, you may want to make preparations for another unofficial holiday that is currently the world’s largest shopping day.
Singles' Day 2022 (11.11.2022) is around the corner, and nearly everyone from e-commerce platforms to digital merchants alike are getting ready for this monumental event.
This article rounds up 11 strategies to prepare your e-commerce business for November 11. Check it out to see how you can boost your online sales on 11.11!
- What is Singles' Day and why should you care about it?
- Singles' Day in statistics: How were things last year?
- Black Friday vs. Singles' Day: How do they compare?
- 11 marketing tips, tricks, and strategies for Singles' Day 2022
- Some last words
What is Singles' Day and why should you care about it?
Having been conceived by a bunch of Chinese university students back in the early 90’s as a single’s counterpart to Valentine’s, Singles' Day may be unfamiliar to those outside of China or Asia.
From then on, it’s been called a variety of names, from the classic “11.11” to “Double Eleven” by some others.
The Chinese tech titan Alibaba turned the unofficial holiday into a global commercial event when it offered considerable discounts and other product promotions for a whole day on November 11, 2009.
An enormous amount of traffic can accordingly be expected this Singles' Day 2022, especially given the fact that online shopping platforms are still experiencing record highs due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
11.11 therefore presents a lucrative opportunity for you to boost your bottom line, increase your online presence, and grow your e-commerce business.
Singles' Day in statistics: How were things last year?
Singles' Day 2021 generated an overwhelming amount of online traffic and revenue that only improves the outlook for how things will turn out this year.
Let’s dive into the numbers and see how the shopping festival went in 2021.
Sales numbers: Simple but definitive
Tmall.com, operated by the Alibaba Group, generated a whopping US$84.5 billion in gross merchandise volume during their Double 11 shopping festival last year.
Nearly 300,000 brands similarly took part in the Singles' Day shopping festival and over 14 million items were offered with half-price promotions.
These numbers clearly signal that you and your online business can take part in and reap benefits from this annual event as well.
Pre-sales and digital brands
JD.com, Alibaba’s largest competitor, saw a 227% year-on-year increase in the number of orders for OPPO phones during the first four hours of their pre-sale for the holiday.
In only 13 seconds, their iPhone turnover also went over 100 million while so many other tech products such as ASUS notebook computers, Xiaomi gaming phones, and graphics cards were quickly snatched up by online consumers.
Interestingly, about 70% of pre-sale customers were between the ages of 18 and 35, indicating that the youth and millennials of today are likely to ride along with the 11.11 spending craze.
Apple, Huawei, Xiaomi, Lenovo and HP accordingly count among the top digital brands during last year’s Singles' Day sales, so banking on those products this year may prove to be fruitful.
Fashion, beauty, bettering yourself
Daily necessities are often bought for much cheaper during Double Eleven, but so are apparel, accessories and fashion products. As such, 11.11 also boasts the latest and best products from leading fashion and beauty brands across the world.
Cosmetics from L’Oreal, Lancôme, and Estée Lauder, along with clothing from Uniqlo, VERO MODA and ONLY are among the top goods purchased by consumers in China.
In line with beautifying and bettering themselves, however, some have also sought out treadmills, e-books and self-care products during the Double 11 period.
Black Friday vs. Singles' Day: How do they compare?
In the United States, the Thanksgiving season that includes Black Friday and Cyber Monday exists as a parallel shopping period to China’s Singles' Day.
Nevertheless, Black Friday and Singles' Day are still rather different in their total revenue, culture, and overall prominence due to their inherent differences in origin and purpose.
Below are three differences between Black Friday and Singles' Day.
1. Singles' Day beats Black Friday in sales
11.11 sale revenue routinely outperforms that brought in by e-commerce stores in the US during the Thanksgiving shopping period.
According to data from Statista, Alibaba alone brought in US$74.1 billion during Singles' Day 2020, whereas all American online stores only generated US$22.1 billion in sales during the Thanksgiving weekend of the same year.
With its US$42.3 billion of sales revenue, JD.com similarly brought in twice as much as all US online shops during Singles' Day.
2. Singles' Day is evolving, but Black Friday’s culture has stayed mostly the same
Over the years, Black Friday’s culture has remained mostly the same, with its general image consisting of individual malls and shops catering to customers that often need to wait out in the cold during the wee hours of the morning to get the good deals before everybody else.
Singles' Day, on the other hand, takes advantage of China’s growing technology developments (VR anyone?) to provide even better e-commerce customer experiences.
3. Singles' Day gains prominence around the globe, while Black Friday is mostly local
Due to the fact that 11.11 is primarily an online shopping event, Singles' Day has more worldwide reach, extending across Asia and all the way to Europe and America.
Japan, the United States, South Korea, Australia and Germany counted among the top five biggest players for the 11.11 event outside China, bringing the total number of Singles' Day shoppers up to 800 million globally.
On the contrary, Black Friday and Thanksgiving aren’t created around online shopping and have only recently begun to transition into the e-commerce environment. As such, their total customer count typically falls within about 100 million people.
11 marketing tips, tricks and strategies for Singles' Day 2022
To better prepare your online store for all the singles in your area, you can deploy a variety of marketing tips, tricks and strategies that are geared toward their preferences and the latest trends. Check out our 11 strategies for 11.11 below!
1. Mobile is the way to go!
Records show that about 90% of all Singles' Day transactions are made on mobile devices, so you need to ensure that your e-commerce store is optimized for and easily accessible from all mobile phones.
Otherwise, your site might load slowly by the time customers start pouring in, and you’ll end up missing out on a huge amount of sales when people move over to the more mobile-friendly stores.
Optimizing your store in such a manner is usually done while keeping UX (user experience) and UI (user interface) in mind to provide a better online shopping experience for your customers that would in turn encourage them to buy more!
2. Step up your socials
Social media is an integral aspect of any successful marketing campaign, and it can undoubtedly boost your store’s exposure for this particular holiday.
China interestingly serves as both the origin of 11.11 and the world’s largest social media market, as roughly 1 billion people in mainland China use social media platforms such as WeChat and Weibo.
On the other hand, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media giants are blocked in the mainland and only those with VPNs can access the said sites.
Stepping up your online presence on local Chinese social platforms can therefore help you gain more followers and grow your customer base in the region.
3. Keep local languages, currencies and laws in mind
When preparing for the 11.11 shopping festival, you do need to keep in mind that your store also needs to be tailored to the local languages, culture, currencies, and laws of your target markets.
An advertisement designed for Western audiences may not be received in the same way by those in Southeast Asia, and Google Translate isn’t the most reliable — it might even lead to some embarrassment on your part.
Furthermore, mainland China is known for its strict government and restrictions. Going through the latest regulations to ensure compliance could help you avoid severe punishments or hefty fines. Using extreme words for your products such as “best”, for example, may lead to up to US$140,000 in fines.
4. The early bird gets the worm! Post early!
The early bird gets the worm, so you should start putting your content out early to set yourself apart and benefit more from what Singles' Day 2022 has to offer!
Getting word out about your online shop and products earlier than everybody else helps you build a stronger sense of awareness for your brand while enabling customers to look forward to the promotions you have to offer.
Shopify Email, for instance, has an email marketing function that you can use to send emails en masse to get more people into your store.
5. Utilize the online marketing tools available
Besides the usual posts on your social media platforms and email marketing, here are other tools you can use to get people to shop on your e-commerce store.
SEO or search engine optimization can help your e-commerce site rank higher when people search about 11.11 sales on Google, or China’s Baidu.
You can even use Google Trends to see what topics are trending and possibly piggyback on the hype or create a whole new trending topic you can shape.
6. Put up your offerings everywhere you can
Your offerings should be present everywhere they possibly can to increase your brand’s reach and heighten customers’ awareness of your online business.
As mentioned, you could increase your footprint on Chinese social media platforms like WeChat and Weibo while also attempting to push your site’s ranking higher up on Baidu.
7. Shoot short videos for online posting
Short videos are also another form of media you can rely on to entice customers and educate them about your products, promotions, brand and mission.
There are so many ways you can go about producing these short videos, so exploring which type fits your e-commerce business is a must-do.
For example, you can set up a livestream that includes a countdown to your store’s 11.11 launch and where you can even personally show people your products and how good they actually are.
8. Explore endorsements: Family, friends, even celebrities!
Building a community of loyal customers that would encourage others to buy from your store on Singles' Day may be accomplished by attempting to get endorsements by celebrities, or even your friends and family!
You may have cousins who are all single and know other single people as well, and celebrities are a sure-shot way to get more people, unmarried or not, to support your store.
Friends, family and celebrity aside, getting the support of key opinion leaders (KOLs) may also benefit your store’s marketing throughout the 11.11 shopping period.
For example, KOLs can livestream about your products and store to their thousands if not millions of followers, giving you much-needed exposure and calls-to-actions by influential individuals.
KOL marketing actually proved to be one of the most effective promotional methods last year.
Viya, for example, is an influencer with over 17 million followers on Weibo who streamed for about 14 hours to showcase more than 400 products and engage in conversations with viewers. Sales due to her livestream amounted to about US$1.1 billion.
9. Rely on your community for marketing (doesn’t matter if it’s big or small)
Once you’ve established an online community, you can rely on it to support your store during the Singles' Day period.
Adolph, for example, is a personal care and health business headquartered in Guangzhou that relies primarily on experiential marketing rather than traditional spokespeople or magazine advertising. They share samples with potential customers so that they can be the ones to raise awareness and traffic for their store.
By attempting to grow its own community to help with marketing, Adolph has noted that nearly 90% of those who learn about and try their products end up becoming regular customers.
10. Provide samples, freebies and more promotions!
Samples, freebies and promotions not only attract new customers, but also give them an opportunity to try your products for themselves and potentially move them into purchasing more at your store for themselves or as a gift for others.
Estée Lauder, for example, offered special 11.11 gift boxes for “early adopters” that included a sample bottle of their multi-recovery serum and a 120 yuan coupon to encourage further spending at their store.
11. Tap into the Asian markets
As mentioned, China is both the origin of this monumental e-commerce event and the world’s largest social media market.
Tapping into the mainland Chinese market is of utmost importance, but other Asian markets can help you yield more sales and exposure as well.
The Singaporean e-commerce platform Shopee, for example, also features an 11.11 sale that extends to the Philippines. Outside of China, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and other Southeast regions are places you can explore for your 11.11 shopping festival.
Some last words
With Singles' Day fast approaching, your time window to launch marketing and promotional campaigns is quickly closing.
Boosted revenues, higher profit margins, and even greater online exposure are all in store for those who decide to cash in on this lucrative opportunity, but the time to act is now if you wish to avoid missing out. As Rihanna once put it in her Single Ladies song, if you like it, you should put a ring on it!
Looking for ways to step up your 11.11 game? Choco Up can help!
As a global technology and financial services platform, we provide e-commerce funding for digital merchants to fuel their growth. Whether you need to stock up on inventory or scale up your marketing campaigns prior to the shopping spree, Choco Up’s funding is something you can rely on.
In the past, we’ve helped clients like eBuyNow and BuzzAR grow their revenue and user base by 5X and 10X respectively. You can learn more about our funding here, or get your prliminary funding offer today — it’s free!
About Choco Up
Choco Up is a global technology and financial services platform, offering revenue-based financing and business growth solutions for digital merchants and startups.
With data analytics and machine learning at its core, Choco Up employs vast integrations to automate fund deployment, providing fast-growing companies with zero-equity funding in a quick and seamless manner.
We currently have offices in Singapore and Hong Kong and serve clients worldwide, providing smart-growth analytics and global payment solutions to fuel their growth.