4 (Last Minute) Tips To Prepare for Singles Day

singles-dayWith 33% of consumers looking for gift ideas in November, Singles Day is the perfect way for ecommerce businesses to drive their sales ahead of the festive period. More and more European brands are getting involved with the Chinese shopping event, as it’s the perfect opportunity to develop your native and cross border sales. Ecommerce automation experts Lengow shares their tips for making the most of this unmissable day:

1) Sell on marketplaces

The Chinese market can be difficult to navigate for European businesses. As is the case with all cross border selling, the best way to launch products abroad is to tap into local online marketplaces. In China, the biggest marketplaces are Tmall, Alibaba, and JD Worldwide. Tmall and JD Worldwide will also let you sell in China without having a license. These channels are a great place to boost your products on Singles Day, as they will attract an entirely new market of Chinese consumers looking to buy Western products. For example, last year, the British brand Marks and Spencer sold products like cashmere jumpers on Tmall, and saw an 80% rise in sales.

Average spending is a lot higher among Chinese people, who are keen to buy foreign/exotic products and services. Chinese consumers love varied, high-quality international brands, so there are many good opportunities and potential for European retailers, across a wide range of sectors, such as fashion, foods, baby and maternal products, and more.” – Betty Touzeau, Country Manager for China, Lengow

2) Optimise your site for mobile

Mobile is fast becoming the standard way for consumers to shop online, especially in China. Last year on Singles Day, mobile sales accounted for 70% of purchases made on the Alibaba site. It’s therefore essential that businesses optimise their site for smartphones and tablets to avoid frustrated customers, and to make the buying process easy and smooth. This will improve the likelihood of shoppers revisiting your site after the Singles Day sales.

3) Stock up

One of the biggest problems with big sales events like Singles Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, is that the huge amount of orders often leads to items quickly going out of stock. This is a major problem for potential customers, with between 21-43% of people looking elsewhere if their intended product is out of stock on one site. This figure will be a lot higher on days like Singles Day, where they want to do their shopping on one specific day, and can’t wait for the product to come back in stock again. Keeping your store well stocked in advance will keep people shopping!

4) Prepare your customers

In the run-up to Singles Day, it’s important to let your potential customers know about any promotions you may be offering. Email marketing is a good way to let existing customers who are more likely to shop with you know what you are planning. Offering certain perks to existing customers is also a good way to ensure sales, for example, free delivery. 80% of online shoppers are more likely to spend more money if the delivery is free, so this is a sure way to create guaranteed profit.

Social media is also an important tool for marketing campaigns in the run up to events, with over 1 in 3 internet users turning to social networks when looking for more information about a brand or product. In China, WeChat dominates the social networking sphere, with 600 million people using the application daily for online shopping. Ahead of Singles Day, it may be useful to launch marketing campaigns on WeChat to attract Chinese consumers and let them know about any promotions you will be offering.

5) Promote Singles Day in the UK and EU

Singles Day may be a Chinese festival, but don’t forget those of Chinese descent who live in the UK and that in recent years there have been more immigrants to the UK from China than from any other country in the world. Selling on Chinese marketplaces will enable you to target Chinese residents, your own website can market to those living in the UK and EU.

It’s likely as in previous years that the UK mainstream press will report on Singles Day and so UK consumers will be exposed to the festival. Marketing Singles Day on your website is a way to welcome these consumers and follow up on your email marketing and social media activities.