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Carousell cleverly turns booth space at HK Computer festival into billboard with 404 message

Carousell cleverly turns booth space at HK Computer festival into billboard with 404 message

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This weekend was abuzz with the Hong Kong Computer & Communications Festival 2021 happening from 20 to 23 August 2021. Banking on the hype, classified marketplace Carousell Hong Kong decided to host a booth at the festival - but with its own spin.

With the theme “The Whole Electronics Mall is Already in Your Hands”, instead of showcasing the products as traditional players generally do, Carousell decided to turn the booth space into a giant billboard with no products at all showcased. In fact, when one walks towards the C25 and C27 zones, they would be met with a bring orange-ish red billboard, with the words “404 store not found”.  This was done to emphasise the fact that the products are all already in your mobiles and thus, in your hands.

Instead, Carousell invited one of HK’s top influencers Flavia Wong (黃可 盈) to showcase Carousell’s platform capabilities. She will sell her pre-loved DJI Osmo Pocket gimbal on Carousell. The buyer of the item will meet with Wong at Carousell’s booth at the festival on August 21 at 2pm to deal with her.

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In a conversation with MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, Kevin Huang, recently appointed managing director, Carousell Hong Kong said, “We wanted to do something different this year. We wanted to leverage on millennials’ tech savviness and digital-first preference in a tongue-in-cheek way to remind them how they have everything in the palm of their hands via their mobile phones.”

As such the idea for an unmanned booth with just a billboard showing a cheeky message that “Carousell’s store is not found” was created.

“There is no physical booth selling electronic goods, because it’s already in your hands. For those new to Carousell, we have on display a QR code to drive user sign-ups, and also promoters standing at the booth and offering branded giveaways after sign-ups or to existing users,” he said. Huang also added that many Hong Kongers in their 30s to 40s, and are going through new life stages in family, home and career. As such they are more cautious in spending, and in their busy lives, they also find it time consuming to compare goods and prices. With this year’s execution, the team wanted to play on the element of digital and show that the products were already there for them at the touch of their finger tips.

Speaking on Carousell Hong Kong’s marketing plans, Huang said, the team will be looking to spend more on marketing this year to highlight the key message that “The whole electronics mall is already in your hands”.  The company is also spending on OOH ads on busses and outdoor posters in Sham Shui Po and Wanchai districts, as well as digital advertising campaigns. The team has also partnered with GOGOX to have an exclusive promo code for Carousell users, from 20 August to 9 September.carousell3

“Instead of rushing to buy another shiny new thing, we’re reminding consumers that they can find amazing deals any time of the year on Carousell,” said Huang. He added that often “regret purchases” are sold on Carousell in excellent condition or even brand new. "You can sell your older model on Carousell to get cash to subsidise your upgrade to a newer model. This helps you save money, while reducing e-waste and helping someone else with a good deal. Carousell will continue to leverage its platform to change consumption patterns in the long-term and encourage less waste," he added. 

The release also said that within the first seven months of 2021, there have been about 1.1 million electronics listings on Carousell, with new and secondhand listings having almost 50-50 weightage. Popular items listed include video games, computers and tablets. Demand for electronic goods is also strong with over 140 million listing views in the same period. Besides electronic goods for sale, Carousell also has a variety of electronics services, such as repair for computers, mobile phones, smartwatch and game consoles; upgrading of computer parts; and phone customisation.

Drawing upon the impressive response from the 2019 Computer Festival, Carousell decided to go the extra mile and position the brand as a field leader. With new user sign-ups doubling in three days, the 2019 promotion was a success. Offering a “self-service” booth at the Festival, Carousell differentiates itself from other companies and aims to empower its customers with solutions that are unconstrained, both in terms of time and location.

This year’s booth is poised to further increase Carousell’s outreach, with new user sign-ups and app traffic expected to climb. “At Carousell, we always place convenience as one of our top priorities to reduce the barriers to encourage everyone to start selling and buying. The Hong Kong Computer & Communications Festival 2021 will further boost our presence in the local market and introduce new users to our progressive ecosystem, offering innovative and reliable solutions to our customers,” said Huang. 

“Carousell is more than an online marketplace, it is also a tool of empowerment that accompanies sellers in their entrepreneurial journey. Currently about 20% of our CarouBiz merchants are selling electronics, and have seen about a 30% increase in leads on Carousell, especially during dry months with low foot traffic. Having an online shopfront can help create more revenue streams for electronics businesses,” he added.

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