China’s Double 11, way more than just a crazy day of sales

“Double Eleven”, also know as China’s “singles’ Day” and “Bachelors’ Day”, is China biggest and most famous E-commerce festival, and it is just few days away from now! But what do you really know about China number one shopping Festival? I am sure we all heard at some point about the craziness of Double 11,and read about those gigantic numbers that completely shadow any retail festival in the world in term of sales, revenue, and logistics. But Double 11 is way more than just a day of discounted price. And since it’s creation in 2009, it ceaselessly grew in-depth and complexity over the years.

Double 11, started on Alibaba’s E-commerce platform Tmall for the first time in 2009, with only 27 brands participating. Even so, the sales were a great success and the event was reconducted every years until now, becoming the major retail event as we know it nowadays.

In 2014, Alibaba trademarked the term“Double 11”to prevent it’s use by other E-commerce platforms, but such a huge potential cannot be let unchallenged by competitors. Therefore, all Chinese’s E-commerce retailer joined the game, competing for consumers’ attention,using different schemes and strategies. For example, JD.com hold eleven days of discounted price starting from November 1st .

Behind the scenes of Double 11:

As we said before, there is a lot more happening than just discounted price.
Preparations for Double 11 often start two months prior the peak of the event.

#1 – Planning Phase:

Starting in September, Merchants must plan their marketing strategies and decide if they want to join Double 11 event. As merchants wishing to take part must apply for the event first, around mid-September, and wait for Tmall approval. They should actively raise their brand awareness and reputation as early as September, because the closer we are from Double 11, the fiercer the competition for consumers’ attention become . Therefore, brand should reinforce their presence in most of Chinese social media like Wechat and Weibo, and have more collaboration with Chinese KOL.

#2 – Storage Phase :

One of the main concern of Chinese consumers that will directly impact their satisfaction is the delivery time. Double 11 will stress test your logistics capabilities, and it will be one of the greater challenge to any merchant participating Double 11 festival for the first time. Alibaba will requires all packages to be shipped within four days following the purchase, either your are based inside ou outside of China. You must be sure that you have enough stock and that your team is ready to ship most of it in those few days delay.

#3 – Warm-up Phase:

Starting three weeks before Double 11 festivals, it is time to aggressively raise your products awareness. As Chinese consumers tend to do quite a lot of research before making a purchase online, you want to be sure there are aware and educated about your product because they will not have the time to do it during the heat of Double 11, where they will be to busy getting the products they want before stocks run out.

During this phase, you will be able to secure sales through Pre-sales. Pre-sales are advantageous for both merchants and consumers. Merchants can better prepare their stock, and consumers can secure purchase of product they want at the best discounted price. It is common during this phase to reveal the final discounted price in order to create a sentiment of urgency for consumers and give them incentives to pre-order or be ready for the final day.

#4- The D-day of Double 11:

Double 11 is here, Chinese consumer will start the spending spree on November 11, from 00:00 and until 23:59. The biggest challenge will be to have a customer service ready to answer questions all night and until the end of the event to not miss any sale opportunity. Your logistics department will have to work fast to handle the rush of packages and meet shipping date’s deadline and minimize customer’s waiting time.

Consumers’ attention will be completely monopolized on getting the best deal, competing on flash sales, following KOL to discover good offers, and trying to validate their order while Alibaba’s E-commerce platform slowdown under the massive traffic. This is why all brand need to careful prepare and conduct their marketing strategy prior the final day.

For this year Singles Day festival (2019), over 200,000 brands are expected to be a part of the festival. They will offer a selection of one million new products to more than 500 million customers, an increase of almost 100 million over 2018.

Want to be part of next year festival? Contact our team of experts and be fully prepare to enjoy the biggest E-commerce festival in the world.