Single’s Day Marketing: Double Down for the Big Double Eleven

Christopher Lowe

Nov 3, 2020

Table of Contents
  1. Singles’ Day: The Origin Story

  2. The Evolution of Single’s Day Sales

  3. All the Single Ladies (and Guys)

  4. Single’s Day: A Look at the Numbers

  5. Single’s Day Sales Potential

  6. Single’s Day Ideas to Win Customers’ Heart

  7. Singles’ Day Sales Insights

  8. Singles’ Day Marketing and Sales Trends

  9. Strategies for Standing Out on Singles’ Day

  10. Insider Solutions

  11. Want to see even bigger Singles’ Day sales?

Long, snaking queues of people lining the pavements, impatient to enter the stores, waiting to run to the best discount shelf and grab that thing before somebody else does – sounds familiar? 

Those were the glory days of Black Friday & Cyber Monday sales, when the festive spirit was high, shopping carts full and wallets empty. But did you know that there’s a new shopping day that’s bigger than everything else? This one’s the cool new kid on the block. The one everybody wants to befriend and be seen with.

What’s all the hype about?

Singles’ Day is a unique, timed shopping event that has quietly and quickly become the largest of its kind in the world. Started by a bunch of Chinese university students, it was soon picked up by the online sales mammoth, Alibaba, and turned into a massive phenomenon that has contributed to as much as 25% of the yearly sales of some brands on the rise. 

One of the most interesting things about Singles’ Day is that nearly 90% of the sales came from mobile shoppers. This presents marketers with a never-seen-before opportunity to implement mobile-first strategies that are complemented by smart customer journeys across other channels, aimed at finding customers when they are most active and giving them irresistible deals and incentives to gently nudge them to shop.

What’s in it for brands?

In the previous section, we saw how mobile users contributed to a huge majority of the sales during Singles’ Day in 2019. Here’s something even more interesting: only 50% of the consumers in the Southeast Asian market, who are the target audience for Singles’ Day sales, are active mobile users. 

However, this is a number that is rapidly changing as mobile penetration in Southeast Asian countries continues to grow at an incredible pace. What this means for marketers is that there is a constant supply of new, first-time users who can be wowed by using attractive mobile and web marketing technology. Brands have great potential to create a comfortable space for themselves in these uncontested and emerging markets with the help of the right tools and technology.

Digitally savvy brands will lead the way in the coming years as Singles’ Day snowballs into a truly global eCommerce shopping day of epic proportions. Marketers of brands across different industries and geographies are jumping onto this bandwagon to carve their own spot in this day that is ripe with the potential to make millions, if not billions, in sales.

Are you ready to double down on your marketing for the big double eleven day? Insider can help you with it. Read on to find out how.

Singles Day Marketing: A Look at the Numbers 

And with expansion of a burgeoning middle class and smartphone users globally, Single’s Day sales are on the rise. To give you a sense of how the eCommerce event has reached epic proportions, dig into these Single’s Day sales stats:  

  • The first $1 billion in sales in China were generated in just 68 seconds. 
  • In 2018 people from over 230 countries placed online shopping orders on Singles Day – a 2% increase in one year. 
  • In 2019, Southeast Asian eCommerce player Lazada, operating in Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand, and owned by Alibaba, booked 3 million orders within the first 1 hour.
  • Bol.com, Netherland’s largest eCommerce player, hopped onto the Singles Day sales bandwagon in 2017. It became so popular that in 2019, it turned the sale into a six-day event.
  • Swedish electronic retailer Elgiganten launched its Singles Day sale in 2017. It proved so profitable that by 2018, it was expanded to all Nordic countries.
  • 180,000 international retailers and brands sold to Chinese online shoppers. These brands were based out of countries such as Japan, the United States, South Korea, Australia, and Germany.

Insider information to nail Singles’ Day marketing

1. Design immersive, delightful mobile experiences to enhance the customer journey and product discovery

In the first quarter of 2019, global online shopping orders from mobile contributed to only 46% of total online shopping orders. In two years, this number has grown to 57%. While this growth is substantial and only continues to steadily improve, pain points in mobile sites and applications hinder the pace of this growth.

Customer pain points in mobile shopping:

  • The smaller screen size on mobile devices leads to image and text size being too small
  • Inconsistent navigation and user experience between desktop and mobile versions
  • Slow and inefficient checkout pages
  • A general apprehension about sharing sensitive information like payment details because of data security concerns

The Insider Fix:

1. InStory

InStory brings the power of stories to desktop and mobile websites as a new way to engage and convert audiences. The full-screen, vertical format provides an immersive and fresh experience for desktop and mobile web visitors. By using a social media-inspired design that users are already familiar with, InStory aids in improving product discovery that is refreshingly different from conventional website filters and categories. 

With InStory, you can

  1. Personalize stories for customers based on their product preferences, helping individuals reach relevant products as soon as they land on your mobile website
  2. Share bestsellers, celebrity product lines, sale items, last-minute deals, customer stories, news updates, influencer diaries, and other noteworthy products or updates from your brand
2. Architect

Architect is Insider’s Al-backed customer journey builder, designed to smooth over customers’ multichannel experiences, driving brand revenue and growth. Architect covers all stages of the sales funnel, from Acquisition to Activation, Retention, and Revenue, creating multiple journeys that target customers at all stages of their life cycle.

With Architect, you can do a three-step customer journey for cart abandoners and promote the next best channel feature.
If the user abandons, Insider offers three main channels: web push, email, app push and channelizes all the follow-ups through the same channel. If there’s no action, then you can push it to the ads channel.

2. Improve conversion rates and customer loyalty with gamification

The average internet user is bombarded with anywhere between 40 – 50 push notifications in a day, visiting a good number of different websites at various times throughout the day, with overflowing inboxes amidst attending calls and replying to text messages. In a crowded digital world like this where brands face intense competition with each other, vying for their customers’ attention, it takes a lot to stand out to your customers and earn their loyalty
How do online retailers achieve this? Here’s an interesting piece of data for some perspective: 75% of consumers say they favor companies that offer rewards. Over years of analyzing and understanding customer behavior since its inception, Insider has built a robust platform with features intelligently designed to captivate customers and keep them coming back for more. Among them, personalized, gamified templates are an interesting way to engage and reward website and mobile visitors.

The Insider Fix:

1. Wheel of Fortune

Most Singles Day shoppers are one-time buyers who probably plan to return to shop next year. But companies can change a one-time mindset by using tools that open and nurture long-term communication across multiple channels and devices. 

The Wheel of Fortune is the perfect mobile feature to showcase gamified UX experiences to your users and reward them when they leave their email information. Plus, it’s a great mobile web lead generation tool to promote customer loyalty. It can be used as a clever Singles Day marketing hack that enables users to spin and win discounts and claim them by entering their contact details. Once filled, the visitor’s email goes into the brand’s CRM.
Recommended reading: 20 lead generation ideas for 2021

2. Web Page Curl

The Web Page Curl is a way to display a personalized discount message with an irresistible page-curl design that can also be integrated into tablets. A feature like this can be extremely effective for customers with a high affinity for discounts, who also seek unique, one-of-a-kind experiences. Insider’s Al-backed technology identifies customers with high discount affinity, triggering personalized messages to entice them as they hunt for their discount deals. 

With millennials making up the largest group of online shoppers, gamified features like this are a sure-shot way to capture their attention, leading them to make a purchase at the right time.

3. Increase average order value with smart recommendations and purchase triggers

On Single’s Day, being the landmark shopping festival that it has become, brands usually see flocks of customers who most likely have built a long list, over the course of many months, of products they’d like to buy. In other instances, attractive offers and deals bring in customers who casually browse the list of products to see if there’s anything they could get on a better deal than on another retailer’s website. 

Whatever the intent of the customer is, there is always the opportunity to increase their AOV through intelligent cross-selling and upselling.
Recommended reading: 11 strategies to grow your business

The Insider Fix:

1. Smart Recommender

For those looking to improve AOV and revenue, Insider’s Smart Recommender can enable online retailers by suggesting add-on purchases on the cart checkout page. Brands can set a maximum price for products featured on the checkout page, similar to a brick-and-mortar in-store experience where the items in the checkout line are small impulse buys worth $10 or less that don’t involve too much consideration.

This smart recommendation technology serves up personalized recommendations – across web, mobile, and devices, including:

  1. User-based recommendations
  2. Trending products
  3. Complimentary products
  4. Substitute products
  5. Auto-optimized algorithms (Chef)
  6. Manual merchandising
  7. Highest discounted products
  8. Location-based top sellers

…and much more!

Global brands with shoppers searching for local trends all over the world can utilize Smart Recommender to display the top trending, highest discounted products by their individual location. Leveraging this strategy can improve AOV and revenue, without potentially leading to cart abandonment.

2. Purchase Triggers

With purchase triggers, you can entice avid shoppers on their way to check out with extra Single’s Day deals, after they add items to their shopping cart. This feature speeds up the path to purchase and increases AOV, helping you deliver the right incentive at the right time.

These purchase triggers are powered by Insider’s razor-sharp AI technology. By creating custom predictive segments for different kinds of customers, retailers can truly personalize their shopping experience.

4. Get an edge over your competitors by delivering personalized experiences at every turn in a customer’s journey

The verdict is in! E-commerce customers really do prefer personalized experiences, with research indicating that 80% of online shoppers are more likely to make a purchase if brands offer personalized experiences as if the brand is talking specifically and only to them. In another personalization study, it was found that 83% of shoppers would exchange data for a more personalized experience. 

What this means for marketers is that there is, quite literally, a treasure trove of customer data waiting to be dissected and made sense of, to be fed into intelligent technology to improve user experience across channels and customer touchpoints. Spurred by the global pandemic, as more people turn to online retailers for their shopping needs, it would be a good idea to move personalization to the top of your marketing strategy. Single’s Day is ripe with the opportunity to acquire large numbers of new customers, and when followed up with an equally personalized cross-channel journey, these customers can be converted to returning, long-term shoppers with a growing loyalty to the brand.


The Insider Fix:


1. Banner Personalization & Management

Gone are the days of boring banners with generic content that a customer would’ve already seen so much that they automatically ignore it and carry on with their business. Insider helps you bring personalization into every aspect of your marketing, and banners are no less. 

Banner Management is an Al-backed technology that optimizes your website real estate, allowing you to showcase product banners according to each users’ purchase and browsing history. It entices specific customer segments, showing only relevant banners timed by frequency capping, that is, you can assign different time-frequency for each banner. Set up rules for how many times a customer sees the same content and beat banner blindness.

When customers don’t see the same products and content on the banners every time they visit your website, their curiosity is piqued, you have their attention, and with that, you can subtly nudge them to the next step in their journey.

2. Custom Tailored Search & Navigation

Personalization is not just about getting the words right or suggesting relevant products. It is a real experience that leaves a consumer feeling heard, seen, and understood by the brand. At Insider, we breathe a refreshing new life into personalization, taking it to the next level.

Some of the amazing things you can do with Insider’s personalization capabilities include:

  1. Search results tailored to each visitor: Let’s say a customer loves watches. But they’re only loyal to one brand. Insider’s AI segmentation engine knows what they’re seeking when they type “watch” into your site’s search bar. What’s more, relevant affinity-based recommendations automatically populate for a spot-on user experience.
  2. Show them what they want to see: Shuffle what each user sees on your navigation menu with Category Optimizer. Switch up categories to reflect individual user behaviors, shopping patterns, and preferences without having to ask IT for help.

Are you ready to make the most of Singles’ Day 2021?

Shopping days like Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday & Cyber Monday have been around for a while and get their fair share of shopping madness. But Singles’ Day is the biggest, baddest new contender and the numbers already indicate it only getting bigger and better in the coming few years. And in 2021, as mobile shopping continues to grow significantly in APAC, global brands are catching the Singles’ Day fever.

With deep personalization, mobile-focused marketing strategies, and enhanced, cohesive user experience across channels, you, too, can become a winner and grow big during this colossal shopping event. If you’d like to see how Insider can help you achieve this, get in touch with us to schedule a demo with one of our experts!


Christopher has a long history of driving value and creating personalized, omnichannel journeys that enhance customer experience. He's passionate about learning and development and has a keen interest in developing economies, especially ones with a lot of room for digital growth.