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This Mega Moment: How You Can Compete in Major APAC Sales Events

In 2019, eCommerce merchants sold over 2.9 billion in inventory during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Specifically, online sellers raked in approximately $1 million in sales every minute during the Black Friday extravaganza. 

With such dizzying numbers, many online retailers are on the hunt for more major shopping day events. If you’re looking to net impressive sales numbers for your business — fast — and break into new markets, look no further than Southeast Asia and mega APAC shopping holidays. 

Here’s why you should focus on mega APAC campaigns 11.11, 12.12 and how to compete in these massive sales events. 

APAC shopping holidays: The 411

Asia-Pacific, or APAC for short, refers to countries located in or near the Western Pacific Ocean. These regions have their own special shopping holidays that offer eCommerce merchants unique sales opportunities. 

Unlike exclusively brick-and-mortar stores, eCommerce brands are lucky. Their customer base isn’t limited to a specific geographical area, and they can reach global customers. With some research and planning, your eCommerce venture can capitalize on unique sales holidays any time of the year, anywhere in the world. 

In this article, we’ll focus on APAC mega shopping events 11.11 and 12.12, which are fast approaching. 

Let’s get started.

November 11th mega APAC shopping event

AKA Singles Day, 11.11 is the most significant shopping holiday in Southeast Asia. 

This event started in 2009 with the express purpose of promoting the Alibaba-backed Taobao marketplace. In just six years, the event generated approximately $14 billion in sales. 

In 2015, 11.11 broke the world record for most online sales made in a single day by one company. 

December 12th mega APAC shopping event

12.12 is fast becoming a major shopping holiday with APAC nations. 

Alipay promotes the holiday, focusing on small and mid-sized brands. Alipay’s goal is to help SMBs and mid-sized companies net larger sales numbers if they couldn’t capitalize on the 11.11 event. 

Typically, large companies have the biggest deals on 11.11. However, on 12.12, smaller brands have more opportunities. In addition, 12.12 gives new and smaller businesses a more level playing field to bump their sales numbers.

Top strategies to deploy if you want to participate in APAC mega shopping events

While these major sales events only last a day, you don’t want to treat them as such. Fully seizing these opportunities and boosting your revenue will require preparation in the weeks leading up to the events. 

We recommend the following strategies if you want to participate in APAC events 11.11 and 12.12. 

APAC sales strategy #1: Inventory management

Due to the pandemic, many retailers saw declining demand for some of their products. If you’ve experienced this, then you’re probably holding onto some inventory you’d rather not. 

Go for the low-hanging fruit. Instead of letting it collect dust and impacting your overhead, you can use APAC shopping events 11.11 or 12.12 to clear it out. 

So, take a look at your underperforming stock and start earmarking it for a flash sale and discounts on 11.11 or 12.12. Your customers will already be looking for major deals on these shopping holidays. They won’t raise any eyebrows to a significant discount of 70 or even 80 percent off. 

Plus, using 11.11 or 12.12 to clear your unsold inventory is an excellent way to increase online foot traffic to your store. 

When you’ve got a home-field advantage, you can easily upsell with product suggestion tools to get people to browse and buy more. 

Capture their email address, and you can contact and sell to that customer long after the sales events are over. Offer free shipping or an additional discount code if they provide you with their email address. 

Pro-tip: 

12.12 is the central event leading up to the holiday season and Christmas specifically. So first, think about what your target customers would want to buy for Christmas. Then, earmark your products for either 11.11 or 12.12 accordingly.

What to do if offering mega discounts is off-brand.

Mass-market brands can offer significant discounts and doorbuster deals. But what if you’ve got a premium brand? Offering major sales discounts could sully your reputation. 

But good news — you can still compete on 11.11 and 12.12 even if you’re upmarket. 

Here’s how you can add value to your customers, protect your reputation, and net more sales on these special days:

  • Bundling products
  • Offering a gift with purchase deal

Using data to manage inventory.

Use data tools to evaluate the competitive landscape and benchmark your top competitor SKUs. Access to cold, hard numbers will help you determine your promotions and pricing strategies well before D-day.

Once you’ve determined your SKUs and pricing, determine the amount of stock you need to meet the demand forecasted. Next, dig into your historical sales data. If you don’t have access to it, then use proxy data points such as offline sales. 

At a minimum, you want to forecast demand and have your inventory ready to go at least two weeks before the sales event. 

APAC strategy #2: Hype it up and engage current customers

It’s less expensive to sell to an existing customer than to find a new one. So we highly recommend that you go after the low-hanging fruit. 

In the weeks leading up to 11.11 and 12.12 events, engage your existing customer base. 

Your current customer already knows you, likes your brand and trusts your products. Start engaging them with email announcements drumming up the event. 

We suggest starting with the following:

  • Inform your customers about 11.11 and 12.12 and why they should mark the dates on their calendars. 
  • Announce dates and times for when the sales events start, and discounts begin. 
  • Remember to send a message several weeks out from D-day and reminders right before the clock strikes midnight.

Pro-tip:

For your email subscribers, give them exclusive discount codes in addition to your existing deals. Drop hints about the upcoming event on social media to get more email signups.

APAC sales strategy #3: Crowd control

If you play your cards right, you’ll see a surge in web traffic before, during, and shortly after the event. If you have the budget, you’ll want to invest in getting some extra hands on deck

  • Invest in live chat for the event
  • Hire someone to field questions on social
  • Get someone to handle updating your site for things like specific SKU promotion

If your website visitors think a coveted product is about to go out of stock, that perceived scarcity can be a significant driver of sales. Consider adding a countdown timer for deals or left-in-stock alerts on product pages. 

Despite your best efforts to hype up the event, not every website visitor will convert. But let’s turn that lemon into lemonade. 

Pro-tip:

Offer first-time website visitors a discount in exchange for their email addresses. With an effective email nurture sequence in place, you increase your chances of turning that casual visitor into a customer later. 

APAC sales strategy #4: Offer more payment options 

Offering additional payment options can help you capture more paying customers. Although online shopping is exploding with APAC consumers, many don’t have access to a bank account or financial products like credit cards. 

If possible, we recommend being more flexible with your payment options. For example, suppose you were to stick to PayPal or credit cards exclusively. In that case, you might miss out on a large chunk of motivated APAC consumers. 

Consider offering cash on delivery (COD). Recent statistics show COD accounts for the following percentage of online transactions:

  • Forty-seven percent in the Philippines
  • Forty-two percent in Vietnam
  • Twenty percent in Indonesia

In addition, many global shipping companies, including DHL, are supporting cross-border COD. For eCommerce businesses looking to cash in on major APAC shopping events, this is excellent news. 

APAC sales strategy #5: Retargeting

Since you’ll be seeing a massive increase in website visitors on 11.11 and 12.12. you’ll want to use these days to capture an existing audience for your brand with post-purchase and retargeting ads. 

Retargeting ads can be served to people who took a specific action on your site but didn’t necessarily buy anything. For example, they could have simply viewed a product or added something to a cart that was abandoned. You can use a retargeting campaign to encourage them to make a purchase or give their neglected cart some much-needed attention. 

Additionally, you can serve retargeting ads to existing customers and first-time buyers from 11.11 or 12.12. Retargeting is an excellent strategy for brands that sell items geared toward repeat purchases, like supplements or beauty products. 

Mega APAC shopping events: Punchline

Massive shopping holidays like Black Friday and Prime Day have shown us that these events can drum up significant sales numbers and help eCommerce merchants find new customers. 

Seize as many opportunities for your business as you can. Explore major shopping holidays in burgeoning markets like APAC to significantly increase your revenue and drive repeat purchases with retargeting strategies and email marketing. 
If you want to take advantage of the unique opportunities for your eCommerce venture, contact us today for a free consultation and let’s discuss.

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