Once a celebration for China’s single people who have yet to find love, Singles’ Day has evolved into a 24-hour shopping spree of colossal proportions that exceeds the combined sales for the United States’ Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Excitement for the massive, one-day shopping spree has been building since it was first introduced in Singapore by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba in 2009. Since then, the Singles’ Day shopping spree is now celebrated worldwide. Last year, Alibaba broke records by hitting an unprecedented US$25.4 billion in sales from Singles’ Day alone.
Other e-commerce platforms like Shopee, Lazada and Qoo10 are also hoping to rake in big sales on this year’s Singles’ Day sale. They have each released new features that will help draw customers onto their platforms and keep them there. They are also ensuring that parcels are delivered swiftly and accurately to shoppers.
SHOPEE, Singapore tech company Sea’s e-commerce arm, is participating in the Singles’ Day sale for the third time.
Shopee’s head of marketing Tao Ruoshan announced that the company is bringing back Flash Deals reminders, at the request of consumers who asked for the feature to be reinstated, to help them keep track of their wish list items.
Another cool feature that will be rolled out is the voucher wallet, where shoppers can collect different sales vouchers to use for better deals.
Shopee is reviving its in-app game “Shopee Shake” for November 11, where shoppers can invite up to 10 friends to form a group and “shake” their smartphones at certain times to get Shopee coins, which can then be used toward purchases.
Shopee has also been working sellers to analyse and identify fast-moving items, which the sellers can then pre-pack instead of packing for three working days in advance, like they usually do.
Ruoshan also explained that Shopee’s product team has prepared its servers to handle the influx of activity on the big day.
LAZADA Singapore CEO Alexis Lanternier announced that one of the biggest releases of the year is an in-app live-streaming function, which will “allow customers to shop directly from the stream and engage with the brands and personalities in real time”.
They have also rolled out little games within the platform to get shoppers to spend more time looking around in the hope that they they will spend more.
In “Slash It”, which is running from November 1 to 10, shoppers can send product links to their friends, which can lower the price of that product. Basically, the more these friends “slash” the price in turn, the lower it gets for the buyer. Another game is “Shake It”, which will run from November 1 to 11, where shoppers can shake their mobile phones during game sessions to try to get sales vouchers.
A new “Snap to Shop” function, which will also be released this year, will allows shoppers to snap a photo of an item they like, after which the system will search for the exact product or something similar.
Lanternier also announced that Lazada is introducing a chat function in answer to shoppers’ requests. Findings have shown that the shopper is three times more likely to follow through with purchases if their questions on the products or services are responded to within the span of a half hour.
In preparation for the big day, Lazada also has plans to making packing the items more efficient with extra manpower and additional automation.
Lazada’s recent partnership with 7-Eleven and Ninja Van, where packages can be collected if shoppers do not want to have the items home-delivered, will also ease delivery traffic on November 11.
Qoo10, the e-commerce site operated by Singapore-based Giosis, is also upping its game to prepare for Singles’ Day, rolling out auction events and lucky draws.
Qoo10 Singapore manager Cho Hyunwook said that customers can “save as much as 90 per cent off the usual price” of products on the buddy flash deal feature.
Hyunwook said that Qoo10 has been focusing on upping the efficiency of its delivery network to prepare for November 11.
One of the most common bottlenecks he cited is parcel processing and delivery time. Qoo10 has added “significant upgrades” to its systems – a larger facility and a conveyor belt system that can automatically sort up to 4,000 packages per hour – which “has allowed us to heavily reduce the intensive labour needed to manually sort items, and cut processing times by half,” said Hyunwook.
This process has allowed Qoo10 to deliver twice now – both in the mornings and in the afternoons – from once a day previously.
Singaporeans can now study these platforms’ deals in the days leading up to November 11 and decide which site suits their shopping needs the most.