The biggest online shopping day of the year? It is not Black Friday or Cyber Monday. It is, in fact, Singles’ Day. This annual online shopping holiday takes place on November 11, and ranks as the top online shopping day across the world. In 2022, estimated sales were $157 billion, with over 290,000 brands participating.
The holiday designed to celebrate freedom and singlehood can be a profitable event for brands across the globe. In particular, the consumer electronic industry can tap into shoppers’ desires to gift themselves upgraded products during this worldwide sales event. Here is what you need to know before launching your Singles’ Day flash sales event this November.
What is Singles’ Day, and How Did it Get Started?
Singles’ Day is celebrated every November 11, also known as Double 11 Day. This date was selected because 11/11 displays four “number ones” sticking together.
Created to celebrate singlehood and single people in China, the holiday was originally known as Bachelor’s Day. It was created as an alternative to Valentine’s Day by male students at Nanjing University. The name ultimately changed to Singles’ Day to include both men and women in the celebration.
People often buy themselves new items to commemorate their relationship status or lack thereof. Interestingly, the date is a popular time for mixers, parties and social events that lead to new couples.
All that celebrating leads to a big boost to the economy as well. The Chinese media covers relationship advice and tips for singles. At the same time, online and physical stores have online sales and offer large discounts. It is common to see items discounted to $11 or by 11%.
What was once a casual, tongue-in-cheek event for undergraduates in China has turned into a global shopping phenomenon. The holiday is celebrated in Southeast Asia, Germany, Belgium and even the United States.
Alibaba was a driving force to convert the holiday into the largest international shopping day of the year. In 2009, the ecommerce giant launched a 24-hour online shopping event, which reached a record $38 billion in sales in 2019. In 2021, that figure rose to $84.5 billion, more than doubling 2019’s results. (Singles’ Day ecommerce leaders Alibaba and JD.com have been tight-lipped about sales results since then).
Does Singles’ Day Make Sense for Consumer Electronic Brands?
Much of the Single Day shopping occurs on online marketplaces. But more and more, brands like Saks Fifth Avenue, Ann Taylor and Brooklinen have begun offering Singles’ Day-related sales.
Many global brands want in on the success of Singles’ Day. But does it pay off for consumer electronic brands? Is the Chinese market and beyond shopping for the hottest consumer electronic products on this day?
According to leading Chinese media outlet TechNode, the answer is yes. Despite a global slowdown in the sales of consumer electronics, ecommerce giant JD saw measurable growth in the electronics sales.
Some of the highlights of the 2022 Singles’ Day sales for JD included:
- Sales of XR glasses up eight times over the same period in 2021.
- Nvidia’s newly released RTX 40 series graphics cards made by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) selling out in mere seconds.
- Compact printers and portable power generators increased sales by 165% and 2,000% year-over-year, respectively.
- A 40% year-over-year increase in sales on JD of home appliances.
6 Essential Tactics for Winning Singles’ Day
Getting the most out of Singles’ Day is not as simple as creating a sale every November 11. There is plenty of competition, particularly as the event continues to cross borders globally. And brands selling into the United States should be sensitive to the fact that November 10 is Veteran’s Day in the US. Your first step to success is to make sure to localise your demand generation and marketing.
Here are tips for doing so as a consumer electronics brand:
Personalise Every Last Detail to Your Audience
Research and address the specific pain points and needs of your target audience. Take time to embed core messaging around these pain points into your overall marketing, content and product descriptions.
As you do so, make sure your product actually solves those pain points. Consider whether you need to modify or adjust any features or designs. Likewise, leverage pricing strategies that reflect the behaviour of your target audience.
And it might go without saying, but use simplified Chinese for all communications and lean on local idioms where appropriate.
Live Stream and Connect with Your Audience Strategically
Live streaming is a lucrative business opportunity for ecommerce brands. With a user base of 765 million in China, 70% of the total internet audience in the country participates in live streaming. Brands display products, provide demos and engage directly with shoppers through Douyin (aka TikTok), RED, Taobao Live and other platforms.
Brands often tap into two types of influencers when live streaming: Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) and Key Opinion Consumers (KOCs). KOLs are larger influencers who often serve as brand ambassadors for specific brands. These types of influencers are helpful for engaging with a large audience.
KOCs are what are often called micro-influencers in the United States. They typically have smaller, more niche followings but are easier to engage with as a brand and shopper. KOLs are sometimes seen as more credible than KOCs by consumers.
It is not uncommon for consumer electronic brands to work with both KOCs and KOLs. The influencers brands choose depend on the Singles’ Day campaign strategy.
When working on your SEO and SEM efforts, be sure to optimise everything for China’s main search engine, Baidu. Likewise, use WeChat, Weibo and Douyin for social media content to ensure you reach your audience. You should tailor your user interface and user experience to Chinese consumers in general and your specific audience’s behaviour and shopping habits.
Keep Customers Happy
It is one thing to attract buyers with attractive product bundles and flash sales. But it is another to turn them into happy customers. The key here is to have fantastic, local customer service and the ability to support demand. Have accurate inventory numbers so you do not oversell and disappoint buyers.
Likewise, partner with local logistics companies for reliable delivery. Consumer electronics shoppers should receive a speedy confirmation of their order and tracking information, if applicable, as soon as possible. Double-check that your return and exchange policy is easy to access and understand as well.
Play by the Rules
Ensure your business and sales follow local business regulations and data protection laws. To protect your brand, register any relevant trademarks, patents and designs in China.
Leverage an Ecommerce Platform Built to Perform
The foundational step for your Singles’ Day sale is to use an ecommerce platform built to perform. It should be able to handle the high velocity and volume that occur with flash sales events like Singles’ Day. The last thing you want is for your site to crash when your consumers shop online to buy the hottest consumer electronics.
ESW can help you launch your flash sale events like Singles’ Day. Designed for every stage of growth, our scalable ecommerce platform is a complete direct-to-consumer (DTC) enterprise solution.
You can test and launch specialised sales for Singles’ Day and the Chinese market without disrupting your core ecommerce business. Our experts are ready to help you personalise your online stores and services to global audiences for the greatest results. Reach out to our team today to discuss your brand’s goals.