Shoppers celebrate Singles' Day by snapping up deals on online sites

Singles Day or 1111 is the biggest sale e-commerce sites in Singapore are gearing up to.
Singles Day or 1111 is the biggest sale e-commerce sites in Singapore are gearing up to. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - E-commerce sites are gearing up for Singles' Day on Saturday (Nov 11), the largest online shopping day of the year in South-east Asia.

On Nov 11, or 11/11, online retailers will offer products at reduced rates, as part of the Chinese festival that celebrates being single. While the festival originated as an excuse for singles to party together, the rise of internet shopping has led to the commercialisation of this holiday.

Sites such as Taobao make use of the holiday to target younger shoppers.

According to Criteo, a commerce marketing technology company, online retail sales tripled last year on Singles Day.

Of more than 5.1 million online transactions made in South-east Asia, Singles Day saw an upsurge in average visitors on key South-east Asian retailers' websites, with shoppers starting to make purchases from as early as Nov 7.

The momentum continued with an average of 65 per cent increase in sales through to Dec 31.

In Singapore, local e-commerce sites such as Qoo10 and Lazada are offering special deals available only on Singles' Day.

Online marketplace Qoo10, for instance, is running a series of promotions, including selected items at $1 and daily giveaways worth up to $1,400.

In addition, major e-commerce sites have reached out to brick-and-mortar SMEs, helping them access a larger audience by having their products on a wider platform.

The Qoo10 Singapore Country Manager, Mr Hyun Wook Cho, said that the company helps smaller retailers by providing them with help with the technology and digital marketing aspects of the business, such as photo editing and webpage layout.

Mr Cho said: " Most of the smaller businesses in our platform have never ventured into digital commerce before."

"We have in-house specialists such as designers and editors who are ready to assist them anytime."

Lazada added: "Brands and sellers join Lazada to expand their online presence and reach out to more customers. They stand to benefit from the massive spike in traffic Lazada receives during key sale dates like Online Revolution."

Shopper Rachel Wong, 23, a fresh graduate said: " I don't really even notice that its a singles day event, but the sales are good so I generally just enjoy them."

She said that she does look online and spotlight products she would be interested in even two or three days before Nov 11.