Are you ready for Double 11?

Double 11, also known as Single’s Day, is China’s biggest E-commerce driven national holiday. The now-legendary event sees phenomenal spending which eclipses even Amazon Prime Day or Cyber Monday at home. In fact, last year’s Double 11 sales racked up a mind-boggling $39.5 billion in just 24 hours!

Held on 11th November, Double 11 is hosted on Alibaba’s TMall platform, along with Taobao and other shopping sites. To celebrate the occasion, retailers offer discounts as high as 80%, encouraging single people all across China to treat themselves! The vast scale of the event is supported by a profoundly effective logistics operation which sees many customers in Chinese Tier 1 cities receiving their orders on the same day.

Today the event is seen as a huge opportunity to enjoy a guilt-free spending surge, with Alibaba even running a national TV live broadcast packed with celebrities, challenges, events and games to further drive sales and to create a national entertainment spectacle.

Many Western brands already participate in the Chinese shopping holiday. In fact, global brands such as Apple, Nestle, Dyson, Adidas and Nike raked in more than RMB 100 million in Double 11 sales. Interestingly, 40% of Double 11 customers in China bought from an International brand in last year’s festival, and many smaller and newer Chinese brands were able to achieve a phenomenal degree of success thanks to their smart marketing campaigns.

What will Double 11 be like in 2020?

Covid-19 certainly won’t be taking the shine off this year’s Double 11 celebrations, and E-Commerce brands have been preparing for the occasion for months. This year the festival will be strategically important too, providing an indication of how well China’s economy has rebounded from the pandemic, and how strong its consumer confidence is. At the same time, it gives Western brands a superb chance to grab a slice of the action and boost their sales during what has been a challenging year.

Looking at the Double 11 platforms

Tmall has announced that it will be running the Double 11 event over three additional dates – with extra discounts between November 1st and November 3rd, as well as the usual 24-hour bonanza on November 11th. Alibaba has also predicted that more than 800 million customers will be preparing to bag up bargains, and is preparing to slash over 200 million products by 50% to lure in buyers. All platforms will be using live-streaming, celebrity and influencer galas and innovative advertising alongside the superb discounts.

Our view of Double 11 in 2020

At Market Me China, we expect Double 11 to be a large success. The 618 Mid Year Shopping Festival in June was the first major Chinese event after Covid-19 lockdown and it achieved a 33% growth against 2019, with accumulated sales of $40 billion. Chinese customers want to buy – and they have the money and smartphone access to do so!

Actions for Western marketers to take now

1. Prepare your digital assets – now is the time to make sure your brand is on the right e-commerce platform and that your digital hub is optimised for Chinese customers and good to go!

2. Look at the right KOL promotion – the right relationship with a relevant influencer can accelerate your brand awareness amongst your target audience.

3. Get your paid advertising (Baidu PPC) campaign in place so that your brand shows to the right target audience on the right platforms – noting that this campaign must be very carefully optimised to maximise ROI and to avoid wasting money against bigger competitors. Market Me China can help you to craft your online advertising so that it is seen only by relevant targets who are more likely to convert.

4. Consider your reputation management – recognising that Chinese customers carry out extensive research before making an online purchase. Now is the time to be active on social media to build your ‘social proof’ along with relevant forums to build trust and awareness. Consider an ePR strategy too – even a few well-chosen and placed press releases, combined with a reputable KOL relationship, can help to place your brand positively in Baidu search results.

5. Invest in good product descriptions! The more detail you can provide to answer questions from your target market, the higher your online conversions are likely to be. It’s amazing how much more detailed Chinese product descriptions are compared to those in the West.

6. See what your competition is doing – it’s surprising how often brands forget to carry out competitor research as part of their broader marketing research, and without this factual insight, it’s very easy to make expensive campaign mistakes.

7. Start promoting those discounts now! Consider offering extra discounts for advance orders too – something that L’Oreal has done with great effect.

8. Get those coupons out there! Some brands are even selling coupons very cheaply, knowing that customers are far more likely to redeem them – and helping the accuracy of their sales forecasting as a result.

9. Consider launching a new product. Dyson released its Airwrap hair-curler for 2018’s Double 11 festival. It marketed the product on social media and made TMall the only sales channel. As a result, more than 1,500 units flew out in sales within just three minutes of the product going live.

10. Integrate your campaign so that it makes sense – your content, ePR, social media, online advertising and other Chinese digital marketing activities must all make sense within a broader marketing plan for Double 11. If you can get professional help from a Chinese digital marketing agency such as Market Me China, this process will be far quicker, easier and primed for the ROI you need.

Get the help you need

It’s not too late to prepare for a Double 11 sales boost! The Chinese digital marketing experts at Market Me China work with Western client brands to help them to succeed in the lucrative, fast-growing Chinese market. If you are keen to boost your e-commerce sales on this huge Chinese shopping holiday, please contact us for a no-obligation chat about your needs. We offer a full service of Chinese digital marketing services and can work remotely too to support social distancing requirements. We look forward to hearing from you!

(Image source: tmall)