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3 tips brands should tap on to gear up for the holiday season

3 tips brands should tap on to gear up for the holiday season

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The holiday season is creeping up just around the corner, with the 15th Singles Day festival, commonly known as "Double 11" having just drawn to a close. According to Syntun, as a third-party platform, the GMV of the major eCommerce platforms (including traditional e-commerce platforms and livestreaming e-commerce platforms), this year, sales reached 1138.6 billion RMB, reflecting a year-on-year increase of 2.08%.

While 11.11 might be over, the shopping doesn’t just end there with Black Friday, Cyber Monday and 12.12 coming up in the next couple of weeks. According to a 2022 report by Criteo, SEA consumers are becoming savvier and shopping earlier before the year-end Double Days Sales.  Criteo’s 2022 data showed that consumers are embarking on their research journeys earlier to score the best deals.

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In fact, over a third of Southeast Asian consumers start contemplating gift purchases, with approximately a quarter of them already making gift acquisitions as early as Q2 (April – June), according to Criteo’s Shopper Survey for both 2021 and 2022.

Here are some of the trends observed during the festive season for the different markets in 2022. 

According to the 2022 data, in Malaysia, Singles’ Day is still the strongest event of the Double Days with an increase of +214% in sales. Double 12  comes in second with a +144% increase. Black Friday saw an impressive spike of +99%, followed by an uptick of +88% on Cyber Monday.

In Singapore, Singles’ Day is still the strongest event of the Double Days with an increase of +192% in sales. Double 12 comes in second with a +109% increase. Black Friday saw an impressive spike of +149%, followed by an uptick of +95% on Cyber Monday. 

In Indonesia, Double 12 is the strongest event of the Double Days with an increase of +90% in sales. Singles' Day comes in second with a +86% increase. Black Friday saw a spike of +14% compared to the last 2 weeks of July 2022. However, when compared to the previous Friday (18 November), Black Friday sales were up +49%.

As brands prepare for the holiday season this year, here are three best practices should be kept in mind in order to maximise success:

1. Capturing the new buyer opportunity

Singles Day, Double 12, and the Black Friday weekend recorded substantial spikes in purchases made by new buyers. In 2022, Singles' Day witnessed a threefold increase in new buyers, while Black Friday saw a 9% rise in the share of new buyers compared to September. The peak shopping season presents a golden opportunity to not only boost immediate sales but also to establish lasting customer relationships. Investing in acquiring new peak season customers is a prime strategy, as it often leads to continued patronage. More than half of individuals who were first-time buyers during the 2022 Singles' Day went on to make at least one more purchase from the same retailer between December 2022 and May 2023, showcasing the long-term potential of this approach.

2. Start planning early

Criteo’s Shopper Survey in 2021 and 2022 found that more than a third of consumers in Southeast Asia start thinking about gifts and about a quarter had already bought gifts for the peak shopping season as early as second quarter. These early bird shoppers represent a crucial segment for brands to capitalise on. Due to a longer path to purchase, brands should initiate their planning process early to secure a competitive edge and capture the attention of consumers.

3. Launch campaigns earlier for better customer engagement

The longest peak shopping season path to purchase is about 49 days. Criteo’s data also shows that the path to purchase for SG$500+ items is 48% longer than for items less than SG$100. According to Criteo’s Rise of Savvy Shopper Study, 71% of global shoppers are spending more time online to search for the best offers and values before making a purchase.

Peak season campaigns should plan for touchpoints throughout the duration of the longer window to ensure that all journeys are facilitated. That means an even earlier start to campaigns for luxury brands and/or higher price point items.

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