The second half of the year is considered as the peak season for e-commerce in Malaysia and Southeast Asia. In 2018, we saw the initiation of sale campaigns such as the Merdeka Sale (31 August), MYCyberSale (September), Singles’ Day sale (11 November), Black Friday (24 November), Cyber Monday (27 November), 12.12 sale (12 December) and the Year-end sales (December). Though this year we might see a slight difference in the sale campaigns, it is no doubt that the second half of the year is considered as the peak season for e-commerce platforms in Malaysia and across Southeast Asia.
Seeing the trend of sale periods in the past years, we saw that the Singles’ Day sale garnered a bigger interest in 2018 as compared to the previous years due to increased investment by various players to promote the event. This was evident as players such as Lazada organised a star-studded 11.11 Super Show to promote the event. Other players such as Shopee, 11street (now known as PrestoMall) and other prominent e-commerce merchants also initiated various offline and online activities to get consumers shopping.
Analysing consumers’ interest in the sale period via Google Trends, we saw that Malaysian consumers began searching for singles’ day sale deals at least two weeks prior the sale period. This is conventional as e-commerce merchants begins promoting the event in the weeks leading up to the event.
In 2018, we see a 62% increase in online traffic and e-commerce business is expected to have a similar growth in revenue. Annually, we see an average of 180% growth in search and interest in sales 11.11. In 2017, we saw a 207% increase in user searches in November. This is expected to be higher this year and is expected to be a rising trend.
Now online stores also engage consumers in shopping centers and public areas where they aim to bring awareness of Singles Day at the offline arena. This can be seen as Lazada held a full event with local and international celebrities at the Axiata Arena and various merchants such as 11streeet who host offline events back in 2018. This is also evident in shopping malls as well, as various physical stores are offering singles’ day deals or sale in conjunction with the popular online sale event.
One of the many areas to look into in preparation for the big sale events
In preparation for the big sale events, we can draw important lessons from other e-commerce players who have successfully handled peak seasons. Some of the great examples we can follow are players such as BloomThis & Happy Bunch. In an interview by Vulcan Post with the spokespersons from both e-commerce players they highlighted that businesses should have these topics in consideration:
- Set ambitious goals but not set goals based on greed or unrealistic expectations – By understanding your company and staff’s capacity, set goals that are ambitious but achievable.
- Learn from past disasters – This would mean addressing problems and complaints before major events in order to improve your product or services in advanced. This shouldn’t be limited to issues or problems only, but since your customers should be the main priority, you should work towards providing better value for your customers. And since major sale events sets a big expectation for customers, it is important to provide great value to customers as it would benefit in the long run with more returning customers.
- Understand your customers – To do this, it requires a lot of listening and putting this a high priority when making decisions in your business.
Insights by iPrice Group.