Singles’ Day is growing in popularity globally. Here are three ways cross-border e-commerce brands can prepare to meet demand.
Singles’ Day, which falls on 11th November (11.11 is considered auspicious in China) and was created by online Chinese marketplace Alibaba, is becoming increasingly well-known outside of China, and cross-border e-commerce brands can add the day to their list of global holidays during peak season.
The event has spread to other countries with markets such as Russia, India, Poland and France seeing significant jumps in online shopping on November 11th. In Holland the Dutch ecommerce site bol.com has expanded Single’s Day into a six-day event, and in Switzerland over 60 different online stores participated in 2019. In the UK In 2015, Topshop saw an increase of 900% in sales. In 2019, US$38.4 billion was spent on clothes, gifts, electronics, and more just on Alibaba.
ESW clients have seen a 23% increase in orders from 2018 to 2019 on 11th November, and this looks set to increase as the day becomes more well-known.
For e-commerce brands looking to capitalize on the increased awareness of Single’s Day here are three ways to prepare an e-commerce site for Singles’ Day:
- Localise marketing and promotion to encourage conversion
- Ensure promised promotions are available on a country by country basis
- Ensure inventory, logistics and supply chain can survive increased demand
1. Localise marketing and promotion to encourage conversion
As Single’s Day is not as well-known a shopping day as Black Friday and shoppers might not be aware that their favourite brands are running discounts or sales, brands need to create awareness that they’ll be running events on November 11th by sending targeted emails and creating PPC campaigns that can be tailored to their shopping or browsing history if available.
Doing this will prepare the shopper to be ready to buy on the day, or nab some deals beforehand – if, as is happening with Black Friday and similar days, sales or discounts are running in advance of the day.
2. Ensure promised promotions are available on a country by country basis
Cross-border e-commerce brands must localise all marketing and promotion in each market in order to drive traffic to holiday-specific promotions on the website.
Having brought the traffic to the website it’s equally important to ensure that the promotions are relevant to each country. For example, maybe free shipping is set at $100 in one country but $150 in another. Ensure that what you’re offering in the promotion is reflected on the website.
In our experience we have seen many brands bring a shopper to their website where they can see free shipping is available only to find out later that it’s not available in their country.
Importance of localization to shoppers:
• 55% of consumers prefer online shopping in their mother language.*
• 53% consider buying in native language more convenient.*
3. Ensure inventory, logistics and supply chain are optimized to meet increased demand
With COVID-19 affecting physical stores, adding Singles’ Day into the mix is going to increase demands on to backend systems this holiday season.
There will be increased pressure on airline carriers and fulfilment hubs during this period and brands need to book additional space with carriers and manage staff requirements at fulfilment hubs.
Due to increased pressure on… brands need to ensure adequate service levels from carriers and resource fulfilment hubs accordingly.
The popularity of Singles’ Day looks set increase globally and be added into the ‘peak’ sales period of November and December, so cross-border e-commerce brands that incorporate it into their strategy sooner rather than later will be at a distinct advantage in future years. Cross border ecommerce brands that build robust strategies around supply chain and localisation will be in a position to capitalise on this demand as Singles’ day demand increases.