10.10, 11.11, and 12.12. The fourth quarter typically rolls around with sales events, often on double-digit dates. These events sound almost like lottery numbers, and for consumers, they might well be since most merchants will run promotions on these days. The pandemic has contributed to this trend – a report found that consumers in Southeast Asia increased in-app purchases in 2021 compared to 2020.
But how necessary are these sales days for small-medium businesses? Do they benefit or hurt your business more? In this two-part series, we weigh the pros and cons of the double-digit sales trend.
When did double-digit sales trends begin?
It’s hard to say when the double-digit sales started in Southeast Asia. It might have been the Single’s Day sale that e-commerce marketplace Alibaba launched in November 2009. Popularly known as the 11.11 sale, it initially started as a celebration of single-hood, but the marketing success of the day turned it into a permanent sales event celebration. Last year alone, the sales brought in US$139 billion in China for the platform’s merchants. 12.12 was launched by Alibaba following the success, ostensibly to celebrate smaller businesses that more prominent players often overshadowed.
The 11:11 sale presented a perfect opportunity for merchants who sold goods from China. Many e-commerce sites, including Shopee and Lazada, followed suit to celebrate Singles Day. So, Lazada, along with a few other marketplaces like Zalora, launched an online shopping revolution in the year 2014. This event turned out to be a huge success, and since then, double 12 is celebrated annually as one of the biggest online shopping carnivals in the South Asian Online Market.
There are also the 10:10 sales in October. Shopee and Lazada started holding October sales in 2016 with Shopee 10.10 Mobile Shopping Day and Lazada Perfect 10.10. And it’s not just in Singapore that these sales days often see a slew of great promotions dangled by merchants in hopes of getting more sales. Since Shopee and Lazada serve the Southeast Asia market, you’ll find merchants in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and all the markets across Southeast Asia jumping on the double-digit sales bandwagon.
And these days, it’s not just retail shops that give discounts on double-digit sales days. Even real estate developers, hotels, beauty salons and F&B outlets are cashing in on these double-digit sales trends. So you’ll see condominium launches offering same-digit offers, hotel rooms going for ₱1,100 and plenty of F&B merchants that provide some dining promotions when the time comes around.
Most businesses believe these promotions help their business by attracting new customers and encouraging existing customers to return. In addition, some companies treat these sales as a great time to clear any remaining inventory before the end of the year. But in a market already saturated by other sales campaigns such as Cyber Thursday, Black Friday, and even Amazon Prime Day, not to mention Christmas promotions, is it wise for businesses to offer discounts whenever a double-digit day comes about? In this article we will explore the benefits of these sales trends? Let’s take a look at some of them:
Discounts can be beneficial for a business in many ways. For example, they may:
- Increase sales volume – Customers are more inclined to purchase if they believe they’re getting a discount
For obvious reasons, discounts can increase sales volume as customers expect to pay less for goods and services. In addition, discounts can increase the perceived value of products and services. Consumers who buy a product at a discount feel like they’re getting more than what they paid for. This can also lead to a fear-of-missing-out if consumers do not purchase the product, and saving money. This also means that a discount can incentivise customers to purchase items they would not usually buy.
It also creates a reason for customers to buy now rather than later. Holding a sale on 10.10, 11.11, or 12.12 may encourage people on the fence about buying something to make their purchase during the limited sale period.
Besides, the alliteration of the double digit-dates make it easy for consumers to remember when the sales start. Apart from the actual purchase, the build-up to a sales day creates much excitement for the consumer. According to consumer research, the urgency created by a sales event combined with the perceived scarcity of the sales event with its limited time prices can motivate consumers to buy even more on sales day. The instant gratification of online shopping can also increase the allure of purchase since consumers spend less time going through the checkout process. Just think of how Shopee or Lazada counts down to each sales event and allows consumers to add sales reminders to their calendars. The urgency created by online platforms can be a massive motivator for customers to purchase products from your company!
- Help attract new customers. Retain existing ones.
On these double-digit sales days, the various e-commerce platforms offer ways for businesses to promote their products and services. Shopee, for instance, has a slew of partnerships with businesses and brands to help them increase their online presence. For example, they offer seller training programmes and a Shopee Mall Brand Membership tool, which allows consumers to ‘follow’ the online shop and grab coupons from their favourite brands. So there is plenty of help for companies to increase their exposure to new customers on these platforms.
Discounts further help you attract new customers because it gives them an incentive to try your product or service for the first time. Once they try it, if they like it and continue to use it, they’ll be more likely to return and purchase it again. Therefore, such special promotions can help you increase your customer base and get more people interested in what you offer.
Such discounts also keep existing customers happy with what they’re already using. If they’re satisfied with their experience with your product or service, they’re more likely to come back and buy again – especially if you offer discounts on repeat purchases!
- Build goodwill among customers – a belief their loyalty is being rewarded with special offers
Customer loyalty is a big deal, and businesses must reward their customers’ loyalty with discounts or special offers. There are many ways to build goodwill and make customers feel appreciated, but one way is to offer exclusive discounts. That’s why it helps brands and businesses to use the double-digit sales day as an opportunity to reach out to their existing clientele and reward them with exclusive promotions or discounts on this day.
This builds up your brand loyalty and encourages people to try your product. You can even use discounts to incentivise current customers to make repeat purchases or entice them to buy more of your products. Again, this helps make your customers feel valued and appreciated, which will likely lead to future repeat purchases!
Another way businesses can tap into double-digit sales events is to show their customers that their loyalty is appreciated by thanking them for their patronage and introducing new products. You can also reward them with free samples of new products and coupons for discounts on future purchases once they have tried out one of the samples.
Therefore, the sales event can be something other than a price-led discount. When you’re able to build goodwill among your customers by doing this, they’ll be more likely to stay loyal to your company, which means more business for you in the long run.
Discounts are not the only way to increase sales for Quarter 4
All these serve to remove barriers for new and existing customers to purchase your goods and services. However, while a double-digit sales trend could be a way to boost sales, combining other marketing efforts with discounts is a better method to increase your Quarter 4 profits. Increasing customer engagement through your website, encouraging referrals and offering loyalty programs are some examples businesses can utilise to increase sales in a slow market.
And, of course, as shoppers return to brick-and-mortar shops, it’s time to think about welcoming them back. Making the shopping experience enjoyable will also go a long way in encouraging sales. A purchasing experience that’s seamless and fast is one way to improve the shopping experience!
Qashier presents an integrated solution to get you ready for Quarter 4
Whether you want to tap on double digit sales, or not, Qashier’s smart POS solutions are created to support merchants. Easily manage promotions so your staff can quickly apply relevant discounts to items. That means faster queues and happier staff, which improves morale all around.
Apart from that, Qashier offers multiple digital solutions, including QR code table ordering, table management (F&B), employee management, customer relationship management (loyalty programs), inventory management, data analytics, and cashless payments, in an all-in-one device.
Additionally, you’ll be able to seamlessly set up within 10 minutes without any need for technical expertise. It boasts a user-friendly interface that is simple for anyone to learn and use. If you require assistance, you’ll find 7-days-a-week responsive technical support from the team.
Qashier is also affordable, with prices starting from as low as PHP65/day, and this includes hardware, software, setup, training and 7-days-a-week local support.