11.11 deal ideas: How to prepare your business for Singles’ Day promotion

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The biggest shopping season in China, Singles’ Day is now a global phenomenon with many small e-commerce businesses leveraging its popularity to drive more targeted sales. Aligning your products and services with Singles’ Day is a key step before investing in promotional ideas and strategies. We explore the intricacies below.

Singles’ Day, which originated in China, is a celebratory occasion during which unmarried – or single individuals – treat themselves to gifts as a form of self-love. It’s no surprise that 11 November, commonly referred to as Double 11 or 11.11, was chosen as its designated date, with the repetition of ‘1’ being symbolic of singlehood. Its increasing popularity, coupled with heightened internet penetration in China and globally, morphed it into what we now know as one of the largest international shopping days. 

While most e-commerce businesses work towards a 24-hour online sales event, China takes this further and energises the nation with a two-week marathon. Statista reported that Chinese consumers shopping on Alibaba’s e-commerce platforms cashed in an explosive US$84.54 billion over the 14 days till Singles’ Day in 2021, a 14% increase from 2020. Sales on 11.11, in China alone, significantly surpass any other 24-hour shopping campaign.

The incredible response on Singles’ Day in China means small Australian businesses can look towards this Asian market to reap lucrative profits in the month of November. At the same time, South-East Asian countries like Taiwan, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines remain strong secondary potentials to dip their toes into.

However, before diving into the shopping extravaganza with your 11.11 promotions, it’s important to implement necessary operational and marketing strategies to cater to the demand. Our quick guide will give you an idea of what you need to prepare.

How to promote your products on Singles’ Day?

Paying attention to several touchpoints during the implementation and execution can go a long way in ensuring a smooth experience for yourself and your customers during the 11.11 Singles’ Day shopping season. 

1. Brainstorm Singles’ Day marketing ideas

Leaning on the significance of Singles’ Day, you can centre your marketing efforts on the concept of self-love. This will tie in perfectly with a range of products, be it fashionable outfits, the latest electronic gadgets, decadent packaged chocolates or luxury perfumes. You’d also want to spend some time understanding what will appeal to your target audiences and how these products can align with your marketing ideas. For instance, in 2021, Chinese consumers spent most on electronics, fashion and furniture online, according to the recent We Are Social x Hootsuite report. Other items included toys, DIY kits and household care items. Marketing these products as engines of self-love can give you some leverage over the 11.11 sales.

You’d also want to think about how to execute your promotion idea. There are many ways in which you can consider. Regular e-newsletters and social media content updates prior to the sales can create ample awareness of your Singles’ Day sales. You can also issue gift vouchers as part of customer orders a few weeks before 11.11 to encourage them to shop with you again. To create greater hype, offer a teaser to your customers on new products launching on Singles’ Day, during which they can snap them up at attractive prices for a limited period of time. It’s important to adopt a consistent theme across your marketing collateral. This will allow you to cement and expand mindshare in your target market, which is incredibly useful for small businesses competing against larger conglomerates.

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2. Decide on promotion mechanics & execution

Once you have decided on your marketing concept and execution strategy, the next step is to discuss the more granular details – that is, your promotion mechanics. Are you looking at one-for-one deals, bundle purchases, discount codes, reduced prices, or all of these ideas? Before you decide on your mechanics, you may want to consider your existing finances, make a cost-profit analysis and proceed with what will draw in the most revenue. 

You may also go beyond the ordinary and explore live streaming as part of your 11.11 e-commerce sales. China’s live-commerce market is already expected to reach US$423 billion by the end of 2022, according to McKinsey & Company; this gives you ample opportunity to tap into a growing segment of the audience who revel in the excitement of on-the-spot sales. Consider fixed prices for a range of products you intend to sell on the live stream or have your host trim down prices proactively to entice more sales.

3. Stock up on inventory

No matter how interesting your Singles’ Day promotion idea may be, it won’t draw in the success you imagined if you do not have enough stock to address the demand. It’s important for small businesses to prepare their inventory ahead of time to cater to the peak sale during 11.11; the first step is to forecast the demand. Study previous peak sale performances and identify the top products purchased by your customers. If you’re exploring a new market for your Singles’ Day sales, you can extend the estimation and make calculated adjustments against the size of the market you will be catering to. 

4. Optimise your website or marketplace 

Tweak the content on your website, including product descriptions, to include keywords and phrases pertaining to 11.11 sales, so your target audience searching online can find your website on search engines. You’d also want to ensure that your website has enough bandwidth to cater to a rise in traffic; having your development team on standby will be a good idea as they can help correct any website issues that may arise. If you’re conducting your sales on marketplaces, optimising your product listing can go a long way in standing out amid a pool of competitors. 

You may also want to improve your image SEO by focusing on reverse image search. For instance, consumers looking for products in a particular colour, shape or size can look up these online, click on images housed on your website and navigate to the specific product or category pages. Be sure to compress your images and apply SEO-friendly naming and alt text conventions to perform better on search engine results pages.

5. Partner with a reliable logistics provider 

As an e-commerce business, you want to extend the seamless shopping experience from online to your customer’s doorstep. A reliable international shipping provider makes this possible. Offer your customers express shipping options such as next-day delivery so that they can receive their products in the shortest time possible. Customers who need more flexibility in how they wish to receive their parcels will appreciate on-demand options, such as having the choice to pick up the parcel or requesting a specific delivery date. At DHL Express, we understand the needs of the modern online shopper, which is why you can leverage our services and boost the operational capabilities of your business when you partner with us. Why not create a business account to get an idea of how you can plan ahead before your Singles’ Day sales this year?