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Maximising your budget: How to cut through the Chinese New Year clutter online

Chinese New Year, one of the largest festive holidays in Singapore celebrated by the ethnic Chinese community who make up over 75% of Singapore population, is just around the corner and Singaporeans are heading online. Research showed that 65% of Singaporeans headed online to prepare for this 15-day celebration last year for inspiration and entertainment.

Taking a closer look at consumers’ shopping patterns, online interest accelerated five weeks before Chinese New Year and peaked during the week itself, as users looked to Search and YouTube to make purchase decisions, do brand comparisons, search for beauty and food tutorials, and learn about festive traditions.

“Chinese New Year is one of the most important celebrations of the Chinese calendar, and a time for Singaporeans to bond with their loved ones. By understanding what their audience needs early on, brands can thoughtfully build their presence on Search and YouTube and tailor their brand messages to the festive season to win the hearts of consumers,” said Stephanie Davis, country director for Google Singapore.

According to Google, to make the most out of this festive season, marketers need to tap into the excitement early. The lead up to the Chinese New Year is a crucial period as Singaporeans are looking online to plan and prepare.

Based on 2018’s observations, brands should start their campaigns early to catch the attention of local consumers.

Searches for supermarket discounts also doubled during Chinese New Year in 2018, making this the best time to offer discounts or cashback for Chinese New Year purchases. Brands should also influence offline purchases online. While it is true that Singaporeans turn to the Internet throughout the festival, more than 90% of all retail sales are still done offline.

Of course, at the end of the day engage with consumers with entertaining and emotional stories also will create a bond, says Google. In 2018, emotional and entertaining ads not only attracted the most views on average, but also received the highest engagements in terms of likes and shares on YouTube. Emotional appeal ads also proved to be highly effective as they generated millions of views.

Here are some of the digital behavior of Singaporeans as they turned to Search and YouTube to.

  • Insight #1 Search for recipes: Chinese New Year is truly a time for feasting. Hosting reunion dinners with delectable dishes for family and friends is an annual tradition, and Singaporeans actively searched online for new recipes and cooking tricks, resulting in a 30% increase in recipe searches in 2018. Chinese New Year is also a time to experiment, with 53% of Singaporeans indicating that they were willing to try new brands during this period, proving that this is an optimum period for new entrants to promote their products.
  • Insight #2 Dress to impress: House visits make a huge part of the New Year festivities, and Singaporeans want to look their best. There was a 46% increase in searches of e-commerce brands during this period as Singaporeans looked to refresh their wardrobe. They also turned to video content to complete their outfits, with “nail” and “hair care” categories trending during Chinese New Year on YouTube, resulting in a 41% and 32% increase in watch time respectively, compared to the same period last year.
  • Insight #3 Get entertained and keep up with traditions: Singaporeans were hungry for content on YouTube as watching videos grew to become a communal activity among family and friends. Local viewers chalked up close to 2 million hours of YouTube watch time on Chinese New Year content in 2018. Interestingly, watch time for Astrology content went up by 51%7 as Singaporeans were eager to see if their stars aligned for the new year, while watch time for Chinese music videos also increased by 16% as they hummed along to fresh and familiar tunes.

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