For any e-commerce business operating in the Asia Pacific region, it’s impossible to ignore the virality of the year’s biggest flash sales- the double-day sales. What started out as an extension of the singles day is now a mega sales day that drives more shopping. And one such shopping frenzy flash sale is the 8.8 sales day. The double-digit sale days are extremely popular in regions with a strong culture of online shopping. Southeast Asian regions like China, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines receive the double eight day sale well. This can be traced back to a soaring e-commerce market. Another reason for the remarkable popularity of the 8.8 sale is the growing population, rising middle class, and a stronger culture of online shopping.
A tradition of the double-day sales series, the 8.8 day is one of the busiest mid-year flash sales days. So how did the eight or double eight or 8.8 sales come to be? And what is its significance for an e-commerce business? Let’s dive into that and explore how to prepare your online storefront for the event.
The History of the 8.8 sale day
The 8.8 sale, also referred to as the Double Eight Festival or the Double Eight Shopping Festival, derives its name from the date of the mega flash sale, August 8. The origin of the 8.8 sale goes back to China. After a spectacular reception of the Singles Day Sales, e-commerce platforms wanted to see if shoppers would accept similar flash sales. A growing middle-class population, killer deals, and increased mobile penetration won the case for 8.8 sales. Soon the popularity of 8.8 spread to other regions with similar success.
Another cultural significance for the 8.8 sale day could be the importance of the digit 8. In some Asian cultures, the number 8 is considered lucky and is associated with prosperity and success. The number 8 is also believed to be highly auspicious because its pronunciation sounds similar to the word for prosperity or wealth. As a result, people in Asia believe that buying products on 8.8 will bring them good luck. In Singapore, the 8.8 day comes close to the Singapore National day, a holiday period that piques shopping behaviour.
How 8.8 sales gained popularity in Southeast Asia
The double day sale, which once was native to China, is an unstoppable mega sales event. It incentivizes shoppers with jaw-dropping discounts and helps e-commerce brands attract new visitors and turn them into customers. Soon, it started gaining traction in neighboring countries as well. Today, the 8.8 sale is a tradition in many Southeast Asian countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
So how did this transition occur?
- Shared culture: The number 8 is a lucky number in many Asian cultures, making it easy for the 8.8 sales to gain popularity in Southeast Asia.
- Influence of marketplaces: Many leading e-commerce marketplaces in Southeast Asia have strong ties to China. These marketplaces, such as Shopee and Lazada, have promoted the 8.8 sale in Southeast Asia, helping to raise awareness of the event and attract shoppers.
- Growing middle class: The middle class in Southeast Asia is experiencing rapid growth, increasing disposable income. More people are tech-savvy and indulge in online shopping and buy products on sale, increasing the popularity of the 8.8 sale.
By understanding the wide reach of the 8.8 sales, e-commerce businesses must understand the evolving behavior of shopping trends prevalent in these regions.
Key consumer preferences and trends in different countries
With any limited-time flash sales, e-commerce stores experience a huge influx of shoppers. Understanding key behaviors of online shoppers can help you tailor positive shopping experiences that help you attract shoppers and engage them to add to their cart and checkout.
Mobile-first shopping: Thanks to improving infrastructure and mobile penetration, consumers increasingly use their mobile devices to shop online in countries like the Philippines and Malaysia. E-commerce business owners must optimize their websites for a better shopping experience.
Social media shopping: Social media is also a significant driver of shopping activity in Southeast Asia. Many digital shoppers use social media to discover new products and to compare prices. Promoting products up for sale in these channels helps you get in front of your shoppers faster. Offering channel-based coupons and discounts will entice more buyers to shop on your e-commerce store.
Group buying: Group buying is a popular trend in among online shoppers in regions like the Philippines and Indonesia. During sales, when products come with attractive discounts, a group of people purchase a product together. E-commerce businesses can tap into such buying habits by offering product group discounts.
KOL marketing: Similar to influencer marketing, KOL marketing is a popular way to promote products in regions like Thailand. KOLs are key opinion leaders with a large social media following and are recognized for their knowledge and expertise. E-commerce business owners can benefit from this trend by partnering with KOLs to promote their products.
Free shipping: Free shipping is one of the popular incentives shoppers lookout for during flash sales. E-commerce brands need to tap into the opportunities by establishing localized fulfillment centers to reduce shipping costs and deliver products faster. Shoppers are likelier to purchase or increase a cart’s order value if they are entitled to free shipping.
Cash on delivery: To tap into an economy that lives in rural areas with poor connectivity or limited banking facilities, Cash on delivery (COD) is a popular payment method. This increases first-time shoppers and also lets you cater to different shopping demographics. With Cash on Delivery, e-commerce stores can target the older generation that may not be technologically inclined.
Why E-commerce Brands Should Capitalize on Double Day 8.8 Sale
The 8.8 mega sale is a highly anticipated sales event in Southeast Asia. Access to amazing deals and mega promotions tied together by a sense of urgency is the perfect combination to attract regular and impulsive shoppers. Here are some reasons why e-commerce businesses join the bandwagon.
Increased traffic and sales: The 8.8 sale is one of the biggest shopping and anticipated sale. With the amount of buzz leading up to the day, it attracts a massive amount of traffic to e-commerce stores. This means that e-commerce businesses can expect to see a significant increase in traffic and sales during the sale.
Clearing Seasonal or Slow-Moving Inventory: Flash sales are an excellent opportunity for e-commerce businesses to quickly move seasonal or slow-moving inventory. This helps free up storage space, reduce carrying costs, and make way for new product lines.
Improved customer loyalty: By offering discounts and promotions to existing customers, e-commerce businesses can reinforce customer loyalty by expressing how they value their existing customers and encourage them to shop again in the future. This increases repeat business and positive word-of-mouth.
Boosting Cash Flow: A successful flash sale like the 8.8 sale can lead to a sudden influx of revenue into an e-commerce business, temporarily boosting cash flow. This cash infusion can be strategically reinvested in marketing efforts, inventory, or operational requirements.
Brand Visibility: The 8.8 sale is a great way to increase brand visibility for emerging e-commerce businesses. By offering discounts and promotions during the sale, new businesses can reach a broader customer base and introduce their products to new customers. Creating a post-purchase experience will help induce brand recall and leave opportunities for repeat businesses.
Preparing your e-commerce store to Maximize Success on the 8.8 Sale
On the day of the 8.8 sale, you need to ensure that you’ve generated enough buzz for shoppers to visit your online storefront. Once they do, you need to ensure that your online store is ready to cater to the influx of shoppers ready to buy. Here are some tips to prepare for the big 8.8 sales and offer some positive experiences.
Update your website: Your website should be up-to-date and easy to navigate. Make sure that there is a seamless checkout process in place. Ensure your e-commerce site is optimized for traffic through mobile devices. Ensure you’ve mapped products to appropriate discounts and updated the product listing to reflect the same.
Create a Virtual Countdown Experience:
Capitalize on the sense of “FOMO”. Add a countdown that starts ticking a few days before the 8.8 sale. This creates a sense of excitement and urgency among customers and subtly giving reminding them about the upcoming sale. This automatically reminds shoppers to return to your e-commerce store right before the sale begins.
Pre-Sale VIP Access and Early Bird Offer:
Persuade the existing customer base to participate in the sale by offering exclusive pre-sale access and early bird discounts. The strategy makes shoppers feel privileged and gives them reasons to shop during the 8.8 sale. Give your premium customers an exclusive shopping experience by offering them access to deals before the sale begins.
Geo-Targeted Flash Deals: The 8.8 sale is not only specific to one country. Use this as an opportunity to attract customers from neighboring regions as well. For instance, open up exclusive deals to customers from a specific region for one hour during the day. This strategy piques your shoppers’ interest and encourages them to return to the store multiple times.
Logistics and Fulfillment Planning
The sales experience for an e-commerce brand doesn’t stop with customers moving their carts to checkout. Once the order has been placed, customers expect orders to be processed and shipped fast. Let’s look at why you must coordinate the entire logistics and fulfillment planning ahead of the 8.8 sale.
Inventory Management: The 8.8 sale is a major event, that may bring in a sudden influx of eager shoppers. This may lead to a surge in demand for your products. Maintain adequate stock of inventory to prevent stockouts and ensure no shopper leaves empty-handed.
Efficient Fulfillment: The 8.8 sales day leads to a spike of orders you must track at every part of the fulfillment journey. To meet rising customer expectations, it is important to partner with warehouses that are strategically located in areas for faster and more efficient fulfillment.
Tracking and Returns: Customers expect e-commerce brands to relay every part of the order transit journey. In addition to effective tracking systems, e-commerce brands should be prepared to handle returns and process refunds/exchanges quickly.
Staying on top of everything on one of the biggest sales days requires more personnel and impeccable planning. Not to mention getting warehouse space allocated to meet a sudden spike in demand and choosing fulfillment centers in strategic locations for faster delivery can eat off your budget. That’s where partnering with a top 3PL and fulfillment provider can help your e-commerce business. When you partner with a third-party logistics provider, you offload the core responsibility of the order fulfillment process. This leaves you with time, resources, and energy to effortlessly run a successful 8.8 sale.
The 8.8 sale is important for e-commerce businesses operating in Southeast Asia. With strategic planning and proactive implementation, the 8.8 sale opens avenues for businesses to boost revenue, engage customers, and strengthen their brand presence.
Shoppers are receptive to a seamless shopping experience both on the e-commerce store and throughout the fulfillment journey. Curate a personalized experience via innovative strategies to solidify your e-commerce brand’s position in the competitive landscape.
The gains from the 8.8 sales go beyond immediate sales; you gain insights into customer behavior, marketing metrics, and spending patterns. These learnings ultimately pave the way for sustained growth in this dynamic market.