Singles Day tops the global charts as the biggest shopping event in the world, hitting a record $30.8 billion in sales in 2018. Black Friday (November 29th) and its e-commerce counterpart Cyber Monday (December 2nd) are still the biggest shopping events of the year in the United States, and they’re quickly growing in popularity in Europe too. In 2018, sales from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday (including Black Friday) totalled at $17.8 billion for online retailers in the US. But this pales in comparison to the results from Singles Day.
How to Profit from Singles Day?
If you’re wondering how your e-commerce business can maximise its profits during this online shopping extravaganza, then you’re in luck. This article covers everything you need to know, including five practical tips for making the most of this once-a-year opportunity.
What is Singles Day?
The very first Singles Day took place in 1990 as a counterpart to Valentine’s Day. The idea was for single people to have their own special day, just as Valentine’s Day is a day devoted to couples. It’s a moment for all the singles to show themselves some love and even indulge in a little something extra. But there’s another reason why Singles Day has achieved the international fame that it enjoys today. In 2009, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba transformed this obscure holiday into an online shopping spectacle.
Ever since, Singles Day keeps smashing sales records year after year and has grown into the biggest shopping day of the year. To this day, it is still dominated by China’s two biggest retailers. In 2017, Alibaba exceeded all expectations when it topped $25 billion in sales, while its competitor JD.com brought in more than $19 billion in the days around Singles Day. What started as a distinctively Chinese phenomenon has since become a global event.
Singles Day Worldwide
Sendcloud crunched the data and found that in 2017, orders increased by 121% in the week around Singles Day, compared with an ordinary sales week. We predict that sales will continue to rise as more and more retailers and consumers embrace the Singles Day concept.
Throughout Europe and the rest of the world, Singles Day is catching on quickly, and that can only mean one thing for e-commerce retailers: plenty of online shoppers who are ready to spend some money! Singles Day is also the perfect chance to draw in those shoppers who love a good bargain and don’t feel like waiting till Black Friday or Cyber Monday to kick off their holiday shopping season.
Ready to Cash In on Singles Day?
Singles Day is all about treating yourself to products that you don’t really need, but you would still love to have. It might be a good book, a new pair of shoes or a luxurious bottle of perfume. As a retailer, making Singles Day into a profitable event is a question of setting the right sale prices.
You’ll benefit from the increasingly heavy media coverage of the event as well as the joint marketing power of all the businesses that participate.
Since 2017, media attention for Singles Day has been on the rise, and it’s expected that more and more companies will start catching on to this growing online shopping event. Experts are even projecting that it will surpass Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and definitively turn the 11th of November into the official start of the holiday peak shopping period. After all, more and more smart shoppers are already taking advantage of these early sale days to do their holiday shopping.
Read how to tackle all the holidays and events during Ecommerce Peak Season in our complete guide!
5 Tips to Success this Singles Day 2019
To help you make the most out of this new ‘holiday’ as a retailer, we’ve come up with the five tips below.
Surprise your shoppers
We all love unwrapping a nice gift, but why wait till your birthday or Christmas for that? Treat your online shoppers to a special treat on Singles Day with a surprise gift box. Try offering a box full of products from your online shop, all for a rock-bottom price. You might offer a surprise box for €30, containing products worth as much as €50 or €60.
Since you can choose for yourself which products to include in your surprise boxes, you can get rid of old stock or use the opportunity to introduce your shoppers to new brands and products.
Just make sure that your box is worth more than the normal retail price. There’s always a chance that the customer may not be completely satisfied with every one of the items you include. The last thing you want is to leave people feeling like they’ve been cheated because the surprise didn’t live up to their expectations or match the price.
Tip: For a truly extravagant surprise box, try including an extra-special unboxing experience. Also remember that you can boost repeat business by including a discount voucher for a future purchase. That adds even more value to your surprise box.
You might also consider teaming up with another online retailer to provide a very special offer that targets the same group, or include a free mini gift box with each Singles Day order.
A Singles Day wishlist
Motivate existing customers to make a purchase on Singles Day by giving them a chance to create a wishlist or fill their shopping cart in advance. That way, you can target them on 11 November with an e-mail containing an offer for the discounted products they want.
You can also use the same wishlist for the holidays and shopping events ahead, like Cyber Monday and Christmas.
This not only encourages customers to start picking out the items they want to buy, but also gives you an opportunity to retarget people who abandon items in their shopping carts.
By offering a discount or an extra freebie for Singles Day, you increase the chances that retargeted shoppers will return to complete their purchase after all.
Spotlight the right products
Singles Day is all about treating yourself, and some products are better suited for that purpose than others. Which of your online shop’s products truly embody the theme of ‘love yourself’?
Some categories that are always a big hit on Singles Day include women’s fashion and accessories, or high-tech gear and gadgets for men. Perfumes and other luxury items can also be very tempting, especially when the sale price is right.
By spotlighting the right products in your ads, you can draw more shoppers to your online store. Put some serious thought into creating your own Singles Day discount mix. Which of your products are sure to grab shoppers’ attention while also turning the best profit for you?
By really plugging these products, you’ll increase your chances of getting new shoppers over to your site and receiving more orders.
Even selling some products at a small loss can be a profitable strategy. These can be just the right ‘bait’ that you need to attract bargain-conscious shoppers, so you can then entice them with the rest of your product range. Just ensure you have the budget available for this promotion, and it is possible for your business.
Turn Singles Day into Singles Week
Singles Day may technically be a one-day event, but there’s no reason to limit the online shopping spree to 24 hours. Last year, Dutch etailer Bol.com rolled out lots of different offers in the run-up to Singles Day. This is similar to Amazon’s tactic of spreading out Black Friday and Cyber Monday over an extended period.
There’s nothing stopping you from running a different discount on select products in the days leading up to Singles Day. Try offering an even higher percentage discount each day to pique shoppers’ interest and play into their ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO). After all, there’s a good chance that all the discounted items will be sold out by the last day of the sale period. This also enables you to spread out the orders throughout the entire week.
You might also try offering discounted prices for the full week, or even for a few days after Singles Day. Some shoppers don’t like being tied to a single shopping date, so they’ll appreciate that you are giving them more freedom to shop at their own convenience. Plus, spreading things out over multiple days keeps the workload more manageable for your carriers, which means things will run more smoothly during the shipping process.
Share the love
Singles Day may be all about indulging yourself, but many shoppers also see it as a chance to share the love. Everyone knows some singles in their family or circle of friends. What better way to show them some love and appreciation than with a little something special?
Sharing the love is a great theme for making a high-impact, emotional appeal to shoppers in your ads and marketing activities. Appeal to shoppers’ generosity by making it cheaper and easier for them to choose a perfect gift for a loved one.
Incorporate themes of sharing and friendship into your social media and marketing messages to promote Singles Day. Try throwing in special gift-wrapping options or a free extra that’s perfect for sharing.
Stress-Free Shipping Throughout Peak Season
Singles Day is becoming big business throughout the world. Although Black Friday and Cyber Monday are better established in Europe and North America for now, it’s definitely time to get on board with the growing Singles Day buzz.
And since its date – November 11th – coincides with the start of the e-commerce holiday peak, the timing could not be better. Just remember that with all those extra orders coming in, there will be lots of extra packages for your online shop to ship out.
There’s no time for unexpected setbacks that can wind up taking a big bite out of your extra holiday profits. Here are a few tips to keep in mind to ensure that your shipping runs smoothly throughout the peak period, so you keep your customers satisfied.
Boost conversion and offer stress-free delivery with multiple shipping options:
During the holiday season, shoppers are more concerned than ever about whether their orders will be delivered on time. This is one of the most difficult times of the year to guarantee timely shipping. By offering multiple shipping options, you increase your chances of successful delivery on the first attempt. Combine multiple shipping options with Sendcloud, conveniently switching between carriers whenever one of them can no longer keep up with the increased volume.
Add pick-up points to your checkout process:
The beauty of pick-up points is that delivery is 100% guaranteed after the first delivery attempt. It’s important to give your consumers this choice during the holiday season. Shipping to a pick-up point is often cheaper and more environmentally friendly, and when you use Sendcloud, you can choose from a vast network of pick-up points operated by leading carriers like DHL, DPD, PostNL and UPS.
(Temporarily) insured shipping:
During the peak period, the chances of something going wrong or a package being lost or damaged increase. You can always start an investigation with a carrier to resolve issues like this, but if the shipment is not insured, you can basically forget about recovering the lost costs. Protect yourself from unpleasant surprises by insuring packages and immediately send out a new product to your customer if something does go wrong with the first package. Are you shipping with Sendcloud? Then you can easily insure your package, no matter the value, and you’ll always enjoy low insurance fees.
Personalised tracking e-mails and notifications:
During the busy period around the holidays, customers are even more eager than usual to keep track of their order’s status. It’s a major component of the customer experience, especially during the holiday season when shipping delays are more common. Sendcloud lets you automatically send branded tracking notifications whenever you want. That way, you remain top-of-mind with your customers, and keep customer complaints and customer service contacts to a minimum.
The all-in-one shipping tool
Optimising your shipping process saves your time and money while also giving you the chance to devote more attention to growing your business. If you have any questions about the use of Sendcloud, then feel free to comment or contact us directly.
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