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CyberMonday and Black Friday is the main focus for many ecommerce stores in America and the UK. However, China’s annual Singles' Day on Nov 11 has been breaking records over the past few years.
Last year, consumers spent a record of 168.3 billion yuan ($25.5 billion) over a 24-hour period. At one moment, Alipay (Alibaba’s payment service) was processing about 256,000 transactions. And China State’s Post Bureau estimated that 1 billion packages were delivered between November 11 and November 16.
In short, it’s a big day for a lot of businesses! And it’s not just for local businesses on China.
Over the years, Western or non-Chinese brands have entered the Chinese market. Some of them have succeeded and reaped massive rewards from the country’s biggest sales event.
What are these brands? How do they attract a lot of Chinese customers? In this blog post, we’ll list 5 brands that nailed It on Single’s Day last 2017 and discuss their marketing strategies:
1. L’Oreal threw discounts and promotions at customers to make big purchases
Here are several strategies that L’Oreal followed to make it big on China’s big sale:
Limited Edition Coupons
Everybody loves coupons - especially if they offer a cash discount to help offset your spending. L'oreal offered discounts for 10, 30, 50 and 100 RMB off -- but only a limited number each. Playing on the scarcity principle, L'oreal encouraged you to buy big (to get the most out of the coupon) - and buy now, before the coupon ran out!
L'oreal also encouraged you to spend more, by offering more 100 RMB coupons than 10RMB. Via TMO Group
Deposit Inflation and Lucky Draw
L’Oreal allowed customers to deposit an amount in advance, and then 'inflated' the deposit. For example, if you deposited RMB50 it could be 'inflated' to RMB70 when you made the final transaction. This locked you into committing a certain amount for purchasing - but why not, when you would get extra value with your deposit?
To encourage deposits, L’Oreal has a “lucky draw” where customers could win prizes through following the page, sharing products on social media. These prizes included beauty products, Sony cameras and so on.
In addition, customers that complete a purchase between 1:00 - 1:59 AM could get a chance to win a lipstick. The limited-time offer ensured that customers would be shopping even at the late hours.
The early shopper gets the free lipstick
Not only did this mean more purchases, but it can also help you predict your sales in advance.
L'oreal also rewarded customers with a gift if they spent a certain amount. It’s one way to encourage them to spend more - and if your 588RMB purchase got you 588RMB of products, why wouldn't you double the value of your purchase and spend more?
For this gift give-away, L'oreal offered fewer of the bigger gift.
First Purchase Incentives and Customer Loyalty
Single's Day 11.11 is the best day you can attract new customers and encourage them to make their first purchase - and L'oreal knew that. During their Single's Day promotion, L'oreal offered all new members a $5 coupon and an 11x multiplier for their member points reward, incentivising both a first purchase and a big purchase.
Limited Stock with Multiple Product Classifications
Some L’Oreal products have limited stock and price strategy for specific products to attract customers. One product can also be classified into several categories like bestsellers, trending, make-up, women’s and many more—to increase the chances of discovering it.
Source: TMO Group
2. Michael Kors classed it up with a beautiful Casino Royale mini-game and shoppable blogpost
Michael Kors launched a casino themed mini-game on China’s WeChat messaging app. Here, customers can play slot machines and digital poker to get discount codes.
They also launched a casino-themed shoppable blog post where users can click the links to get to the Michael Kors Chinese online store and place orders right away. Content marketing and product placement at its finest!
3. Nike made the most of exclusivity for NikePlus members
At Single’s Day, Nike is one of the top sports brands in China’s e-commerce and in-store market.
The brand’s success in China can be highly attributed to its generous rewards for loyalty members of NikePlus.
“First, they can get a first look at all 11.11 key styles and a chance to reserve their favorite products before the public. Second, members will unlock members-only promotions towards 11.11 purchases and members-only pricing on select products. Third, they also have a chance to attend members-only shopping events and training sessions.” says Dennis Van Oossanen, vice president of Nike Direct Greater China.
They also released exclusive key styles like the Lebron XV Ashes, SF AF-1, Air Jordan XI Win Like ’82.
The brand also built deeper connections with consumers through the SNKRS app, which has 4 million sneaker fans.
"Many consumers already know what they want, they want Nike.
"When they are shopping on the move, they can come to us digitally where we serve them through SNKRS. They might prefer to come to a physical store where they can get expert advice, where they can get product trial, or they can get the product immediately.” says Dennis in an interview.
4. Philips used deep discounts and a lottery box
Philips collaborated with its online retailers during Singles Day 2017.
At BCC.nl, they offered an electric toothbrush with a discount price of £139 (original price was £195) . They also offered the trimmer for €99 euros (original price was £105 euros) among many others.
On Lazada, some customers got a Philips Home Appliances Surprise box. Each box had a random electric appliance and cost $29, but the products inside could be worth more than a $100. For example, one blogger got an electronic kettle.
5. Uniqlo found their community - by heading to forums and social media
Like many brands, Uniqlo offered discounts and made impressive sales. Last 2015 Single’s Day, the brand made made £100 million after 2 minutes and 53 seconds. It became the first shop to reach £100 million in sales in all categories.
Uniqlo fans also helped promote the brand by sharing these deals in various forums.
11.11 deals were also promoted on social media.
Here’s a recap of what we’ve learned from these Single's Day success:
- Offer discounts and great deals
- Think of a creative way to earn discounts (i.e. mini-games)
- Promote your deals on social media
- Release exclusive products
- Collaborate with retailers
- Reward loyalty members
- Offer free gifts and incentivise first-time customers
- Make memberships and point rewards systems exclusive and worth it
- Find your customers where they are - on social media and forums