Established by Chinese University students in the early 90’s as the anti-valentine’s day event, Singles’ Day recently exploded to become the world’s largest retail event, with 2017 sales eclipsing Cyber Weekend for the second consecutive year.

Over the 24-hour period that was Saturday November 11th 2017, consumers spent approximately US$25.3 billion globally, a 39% increase on 2016 sales. Further to this, sales within the first thirty-minutes of the event exceeded US$7 billion. Singles’ Day recent success is aided by the growing popularity in the event with western retailers. Singles’ Day 2017 saw participation from 60,000 international brands, with 225 countries recording sales.

Retailers outside of China may be wondering how they can take full advantage of Singles’ Day, so at Rakuten Marketing we’ve compiled a list of strategies for conquering the world’s largest retail event.

Work with your partners:
Leverage the extensive knowledge of your affiliate partners in China and throughout Asia to ensure success over the Singles’ Day period. Affiliates are a wealth of knowledge and understand what motivates and drives their audiences to purchase, be guided by their recommendations for promotions and exposure as they will be key to success for international retailers.

Once you’ve established what promotions you will be offering, the most important step is communicating this with your partners. There are a variety of ways affiliates can promote a retailer over Singles’ Day with additional exposure, including (but not limited to) bespoke eDMs, sponsored content and paid placements. Placements for additional exposure opportunities are limited, be prepared to offer compelling promotions and increased commission, flat fees or a bespoke coupon code to aid in securing exposure.

Test, review and refine:
For those who are Singles’ Day newbies, use this year as an opportunity to trial promotions and offers to see what best works for your brand. Collate performance data and feedback from affiliates.

If you’re a retailer who has previously participated in Singles’ Day, one of the most valuable assets you have at your disposable is your data. Review the performance of previous years campaigns to get a sense of what worked, what didn’t and use this information as a means for shaping your Singles’ Day strategy.

Further to this, conduct a deep dive into the performance of your affiliate partnerships. Review the performance of new partnerships that have arisen since the previous year’s event, to reveal new campaigns and strategies that can be leveraged to optimise campaigns.

Leverage Concierge Apps:
Concierge apps are among the most popular platforms used by consumers in China to make shopping from international sites simple. On the Rakuten Marketing Affiliate Network, Concierge Apps are among the top performance drivers. Gathering product and brand information through product data feeds or web crawlers, these apps make it easier for international retailers to engage and convert Chinese consumers by:

  • Translating a brands website and promotions into the users preferred language
  • Working with third party logistic companies to ensure consumers receive their order, regardless of whether the retailer ships to China or not
  • Allowing Chinese consumers the ability to purchase from international retailers by connecting with Alipay or WeChatPay
  • Providing western retailers with the ability to provide real-time customer service in local language

Interested in hearing more about conquering Singles’ Day and other retail events? Reach out to the Rakuten Marketing team today!