Singles Day (11.11), has shifted away from its roots as a festival to celebrate people not in relationships into China’s largest global shopping festival. Other regions like Southeast Asia are also catching onto the global phenomenon.
Amounts spent on Singles Day dwarfs earnings by Amazon. 2019’s sales figures stood at a whooping 410 billion yuan (US$ 60.4 billion) in 24 hours, double what Amazon generates in a month. Singles Day expenditure exceeds spending over Black Friday and Cyber Monday too. Last year, total gross merchandise value reached US$38.3 billion, double that of Black Friday (US$7.4 billion) and Cyber Monday (US$9.4 billion) combined.
This year, with the coronavirus encouraging a drastic shift in consumer spending patterns and corresponding boom in e-commerce volumes, we at Parcel Monitor analyzed the scale of the shift in consumer spending in Southeast Asia from 26 October to 6 December and we were amazed at the magnitude of our findings.
We’ve segmented our analysis into 3 distinct time periods:
- Pre 11.11 (October 26 to November 6)
- During 11.11 (November 9 to November 22)
- After 11.11 (November 23 to December 6)
Here’s what we found:
Shipment volumes surged by 82% during 11.11 as compared to the pre-11.11 period
According to our data analyzing deliveries to Southeast Asia from 26 October to 6 November, we found a sharp increase in shipment volumes by 82% compared to the baseline delivery volume pre-11.11.
This does not come as a surprise, as the coronavirus has accelerated the growth of e-commerce worldwide, but also especially in China and Southeast Asia. Analysts are also factoring in the phenomenon of ‘revenge spending’, as consumers with money to spend but rendered unable to travel internationally spend more on imported products and foreign luxury brands compared to previous years.
What was impressive was the sheer magnitude and scale of the growth, especially when compared against previous years. To illustrate the difference, a recent analysis of regional e-commerce players around the region by The Drum reveals the following movements by product category:
- Lazada took 35 minutes to surpass 2019’s first 2-hour sales figures
- Lazada surpassed its 9.9 campaign sales within 5 hours.
- ShopBack Singapore saw an over 20x uplift in total traffic in the first hour of Singles’ Day, compared to an average day.
- In Shopback Malaysia, Adidas’s shopping traffic soared by more than 100x in the first hour (versus first hour on an average day); Shopee and Tmall’s increased by over 20x.
- Home & living, beauty & personal care, mobile & gadgets were best-selling categories amongst Singaporean consumers according to Shopee data.
With such extensive movement across e-commerce platforms in the region, it is no surprise that 11.11 saw such a significant increase in overall shipment volumes.
Post 11.11 shipment volumes remained 28% higher than the average pre-11.11 volumes
Our data analysis also found these effects remain, although at a lower magnitude post 11.11. Post 11.11 shipment volumes were 28% higher than pre-11.11 levels.
Several reasons might account for these figures.
- Extended 11.11 sales periods: to capture the hungry dollars of consumers as brands extend sales periods to combat discount fatigue by consumers. Whether the sales will pull forward December spending as it did last year remains to be seen
- Global e-commerce sales volumes increased, leading to a knock-on effect for logistics deliveries: We are seeing an overall uplift in online sales volumes as brands turn to e-commerce to stay viable during the coronavirus. Deutsche Post’s DHL express-delivery unit expects holiday season volumes to be more than 50 per cent higher than in 2019.
- Increased sales volumes from other shopping festivals as people around the world prepare for Christmas and other gift-giving holidays: Widely popular shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday towards the end of October also encourage consumers to shop more, resulting in an overall uplift in delivery volumes. A recent Power Retail survey revealed nine out of 10 shoppers were planning to start Christmas shopping in early November to avoid delivery delays.
How do you think the numbers for other sales seasons like 12:12 would be like?
Based on these figures, it remains to be seen how delivery volumes will change as we head into the tail end of the year. Several shopping opportunities still remain, with Lazada’s 12.12, Christmas Day and Boxing Day rounding up the year-end shopping spree.
Will 12.12’s delivery volumes follow the upward trends set by the 11.11 Singles Day global shopping festival? Or will consumers finally have ‘enough’ of the endless barrage of discounts, promotions and other tactics getting them to part with their hard-earned money? We certainly can’t wait to find out.
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