Successful 11.11 e-commerce campaigns and marketing tactics

We are avid believers of responsible purchases, which means to purchase only what is needed. While 11.11 is a great time for shoppers looking for deals, we encourage both buyers not to buy on impulse, and merchants to refrain from encouraging wasteful practices. Because of this, we encourage sellers to offer the best deals on Carousell all year round to allow buyers to have all the time they need to make a responsible purchase decision. Nevertheless, we’ve taken note of several successful marketing tactics that have been utilised for 11.11 sale campaigns, and have equally great potential as evergreen strategies to use all year round. Here are some successful e-commerce marketing tactics to try out.

1. Livestreaming

In recent years, brands have been utilising video marketing successfully, with YouTube and Facebook being one of the primary drivers of sponsored videos. However, with the recent rise of livestream functions within social media platforms, many are jumping on the bandwagon. Popular apps such as Instagram and TikTok have solidified the livestream experience for users, taking the social media influencer marketing game to a whole new level. Now, brands can engage influencers to “showcase” their products in their casual livestreams or even partner with them to do an exclusive livestream getting them to “review” their products. In the case of L’Oreal with Tmall, they worked with influencers on Chinese social media platforms to post about the brand leading up to 11.11. On the day itself, they livestreamed for almost 17 hours a day engaging with the audience and showcasing their various products, all of which surmounted to almost 10.34 million orders. L’Oreal went on to be the top-selling beauty brand on Singles Day in 2019.

2. Social media influencers and key opinion leaders

Thus, it’s no question that one of the most renowned and leveraged marketing tactics during any major sale campaign period would be the use of social media influencers, also known as Key Opinion Leaders (KOL). Influencers are one of the best ways to reach a specific target audience online due to the nature of their followers. Single’s Day started out with the notion of ‘self-care’ which essentially meant pampering yourself and letting yourself indulge. It naturally amassed an audience looking to indulge in self-care products like skincare, makeup, health and wellness products. In recent years, tech products have also become a part of ‘self-care’ as technology integrates into our daily lives. Brands can consider partnering with key opinion leaders based on their following size, target audience and individual branding. In Singapore for example, young female adults interested in fashion, lifestyle and beauty products flock to Instagram influencers like Mongchin Yeoh @mongabong, who often does beauty product reviews and is known for her genuine opinions and relatable personality. While individual tech opinion leaders are less common in Singapore, YouTubers like Julian Tay @JulianTechTM has garnered a significant audience base. Julian regularly uploads video reviews of gadgets and tech-infused lifestyle products for tech enthusiasts in Singapore. 

3. Vouchers and coupons

Discount and voucher bundles are also highly sought after on 11.11, whether it’s in the form of cashback or just single-day flash deals. Some brands may not offer huge price cuts on their products for reasons like maintaining a certain brand reputation but may instead choose to offer bigger discounts if a consumer meets a minimum spend. Other tactics include cashback vouchers, which is often seen on marketplace platforms as opposed to individual websites. However, some individual e-commerce websites run their own loyalty program in the form of store credit. In these cases, they may choose to inflate their credit system for the day i.e on 11.11 only, consumers can get 2-3x the usual credit they get for each purchase they make.

4. Mobile-first optimisation

In Singapore, 98% of the population uses a smartphone, with 81.5% browsing shopping apps per month and 56.9% making purchases via their mobile phone. In its origin country, China, more than 80% of 11.11 sales were made on a mobile device. In order to stay relevant, businesses need to cater to this shift in consumer behaviour and optimise for mobile usage. While selling on e-commerce marketplaces means that the onus is on the platform provider to optimise for a mobile-friendly user experience, it doesn’t mean sellers can just take a back seat and wait for opportunities. Listing images, videos, product descriptions and other assets have to be made mobile-friendly as well. This means concise copywriting, cropping of image thumbnails and product video dimensions to fit compact screens. Competition is at its peak during an 11.11 sale season, so any small inconvenience can easily turn a potential customer away. 

5. Ads to beat the competition

Prepare to spend a sizeable amount of money on ads. Again, competition will be at its highest during major sale campaigns like 11.11, which means businesses who wish to take advantage of the high online traffic will also have to fight for top spots. On most e-commerce marketplaces, in order for your listing to be seen quickly, businesses will no doubt have to spend on ads to be placed on top. These marketplaces also have various other real estates that businesses can utilise such as banner ads, push notifications and homepage takeovers. Individual websites, however, will be playing the competition on a different field. This is where social media ads such as those on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook are more relevant. Search engine marketing could also be an option. For businesses on a tight budget but still want to take part in high-traffic campaigns such as 11.11, e-commerce marketplaces would be ideal as you can still optimise for keyword search and attract with eye-catching thumbnails, albeit being shown below listings that have paid for top spots.

While 11.11 poses a big opportunity for e-commerce, it also takes more time, money and effort in preparing for it as conquering the competition is no small feat. Businesses that can afford to go into the battlefield fully equipped will no doubt find some form of success. For the less-equipped, we encourage trying out these marketing tactics all year round, when competition is less stiff and you won’t have to be pressed for time. Users come to the Carousell marketplace to look for deals with or without 11.11, so it would be a good playing field to try out some of the strategies mentioned above. Carousell is fully optimised for a seamless mobile shopping experience, and our ad features are affordable and catered to helping businesses of any calibre maximise their profits.