Move over, Cyber Monday: Singles Day is the King of Online Sales
In 1993, a group of Chinese college students started an anti-Valentine’s Day movement to celebrate their single status. The concept was simple: treat yourself. They deemed November 11 “Singles Day” because of its numerical cultural significance (11/11) and dedicated the day to guilt-free shopping for themselves — much to the joy of Chinese retailers.
Fast forward to 2009. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba strategized to capitalize on this unofficial holiday with a winter coat tie-in. Last year, the company generated $18.8 billion in sales in just a single day (no pun intended).
This year, Alibaba rang up nearly $31 billion in sales, according to Adweek — nearly triple that of 2017’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined, making Singles Day the biggest shopping day in the world.
Turning customer acquisition into a global good-time event
Singles Day. Black Friday. National Ice Cream Day. Men’s Health Week. From “super shopping” days to fun and offbeat holidays, there’s no lack of creative tie-ins to grab shoppers’ attention and introduce — or reintroduce them — to your brand while they’re in transactional mode.
Whether you’re riding the wave of an existing super shopping day like Cyber Monday or creating a topical tie-in of your own, events like these are an ideal time to reality-check the effectiveness of your omnichannel marketing strategies:
- Do our buyers have multiple access points for current promotions?
- Does mobile provide easy access for shopping?
- Are we promoting online-only specials to build traffic or offering the same deals online and in-store for consistency and a seamless customer experience?
- Do we have the bandwidth (both online and in-store) to handle anticipated surges in traffic?
Keep your eye on the ROI prize
When taking advantage of high-visibility tie-ins like Singles Day for customer acquisition, keep in mind that all customers are not created equal. Those acquired during a super shopping experience tend to be more price sensitive and less brand loyal, which adds up to lower lifetime value.
Consider strategies to target prospects who mirror your best customers, such as modeling and profiling, or using your offline data to create look-alike audiences on social channels.
High-volume shopping days are also prime time for testing a mix of tactics:
- Third-party programmatic newsletter advertising to drive additional site traffic
- SEM/paid search for mass reach
- Trigger marketing (lightboxes or quick-turnaround postcards) for abandoned carts
- Targeted email marketing
Don’t be singled out — Jump on the #SuperShoppingDay bandwagon
Retail competition is growing tougher every year, and you’re doing your brand a disservice by missing out on clever revenue-generating opportunities.
Considering that shoppers from 235 countries and regions completed cross-border Singles Day transactions, and 37% purchased items from international brands, Singles Day is now clearly a global shopping event. So, start planning now for a blockbuster Singles Day 2019 campaign.
In the meantime, there’s always International Thank You Day (January 11), American Heart Month (February) and National Introverts Week (March 17-23) — for these holidays and more, the creative marketing possibilities are nearly endless.
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