The 11th Nov, originally marketed as Singles Day and later promoted into an online shopping fest by Alibaba in China, now become the largest shopping day in the whole universe. The sales smashed its record going up from USD15bn in 2016 to more than USD20bn in 2017 on Alibaba platforms alone, In comparison, Prime Day by Amazon reached USD1bn revenue in 2017.
On the 9th year of this shopping fest, what's the new tactics behind? Our findings are that offline is playing a crucial role in creating the awareness and engagement, and luxurious brands finally join in the battle in a different way.
Offline Ads Drive Awareness
Two weeks from 11th Nov, you can already see Tmall's ads occupying the top spots in Shanghai metro stations. Tmall collaborates and cross-promotes with big brands on the platform. Waves of its signal cat-shaped frame filled with big brand names prepare you for the big promo. Its direct competitor, JD.com also purchased the ads opposite to Tmall's with the same red colour and big 11.11 sign.
Besides, the brands themselves set up Tmall entrance and the big Singles Day promo slogan in the physical stores, expecting the in-store experience would later convert into online purchases (see below). Guerlain took its Singles’ Day play offline by sending sales reps to China to offer two-hour appointments for Tmall’s luxury shoppers to make a personalised perfume.
Tmall Dream House
Tmall Pop-up store is not a new concept, but the Dream House this year upscaled into a powerful tool to build up the offline momentum. Tmall set up 60 pop-up stores, called Dream House, counting down 10 days towards the Singles Day in 12 cities where the city enjoys the biggest foot plan. The Dream House is a container house similar to IKEA's mobile showroom. Each Dream House displayed the bestsellers from the sponsor brands, from furniture to electronics, so that the products sold online became more tangible. Dream House also introduced the branded interactive screen with AR technology, so that the users can see themselves trying the virtual makeup product. The social influencers and celebrity doing live-broadcasting in the Dream House not only helped created noise on the spot, but also brought offline experience online again and reached out a broader audience.
Diversified Marketing Battle
Tmall also segment the shoppers and brands, and diversify the approaches. A good example is that Tmall Luxury Pavillion APP offered a virtual brand tour with exclusive products, experiences and brand stories for the deeper engagement. Different from commodity brands offering discount and promo products, luxurious brands choose exclusiveness. Singles’ Day strategies vary among big brands: La Perla is selling limited-edition pyjamas embroidered with gold; Burberry is selling a version of its trench coat; La Mer is selling its face cream in an exclusive mother-of-pearl casing.
Singles Day Fest grew from a tool to drive sales for Alibaba to a festival to create massive online traffic for brands. This crazy 24 hour marketing marathon started months ago and surprised us every year in a different way.