All the Single Ladies: How Filipino Brands are Cashing in on Singles’ Day

The exact inflection of Manny Pacquiao saying “Shopee, eleven-eleven, big Christmas sale!” remains vivid in my memory.

And the fact that the said sale bled my wallet dry is even more unforgettable.

The November 11 event, or more popularly known as 11.11 sale, became the talk of the town for at least a month leading up to the date. Multiple brands hopped onto this money-making vehicle, including, of course, online shopping mega destinations Lazada, Zalora, and Shopee.

The hype was incredible, with ads and other related content infiltrating our Facebook and Twitter feeds and YouTube videos. While some internet users marked themselves safe from the enormous sale, others didn’t have that kind of self-control. One online shopper reportedly spent P1.2 million on Lazada during 11.11. Talk about shopping ‘til you drop (Pero sana all may 1.2 million pesos pang-shopping).

The 11.11 online shopping event has been happening in our country since around 2016, but it was only recently that it gained this much traction. If you’re wondering where Filipino brands even got the idea of holding a sale of this scale, well, you can blame Alibaba for starting the trend that left you almost penniless.

Singles’ Day Shopping Bonanza

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba introduced the Singles’ Day sale to rival Black Friday, a shopping event more popular in the US. It’s a day where we can spoil and indulge ourselves – and the reduced prices are supposed to make us feel less guilty about our purchases.

They chose November 11 as the date of their huge sale because of the four ones, which just further drives how single we are (but we don’t mind because as Emma Watson put it, we’re “self-partnered”).

The idea behind the event is simple: discounted prices will always be attractive to consumers, no matter how bad the economy is. And with China’s economic slowdown, luring shoppers out to play is more than good news.

When e-commerce boomed in the Philippines, we also started adopting trends exclusive to online shopping, including events such as Singles’ Day. Lazada is proud to be the first to introduce this shopping festival in Southeast Asia, according to Lazada Philippines CEO Ray Alimurung.

Big Money

Many businesses cashed in on singles’ day, although some didn’t target the unhitched specifically. I guess they wanted to lure as much people as they can. And true enough, the bagsakpresyo items are enough to catch people’s attention, regardless of how they marketed the event (their eerily targeted ads also helped of course). But Retail in Asia confirmed that three out of four of Singles’ Day participants last year are single. And 57 percent are women.

Some of the brands that participated are Sephora, beauty and lifestyle store BeautyMNL, online booking site Klook, PayMaya, sports brands Nike, Adidas, and Urban Athletics, and hundreds more.

Photo by Jon Cellier

Apart from the Big Spender who checked out 1.2 million worth of items, Lazada has more jaw-dropping numbers to brag about.

The online marketplace said over a thousand of its sellers made at least P1 million in sales during Singles’ Day. And 1 million items were sold during the first hour of the event.

Singles’ Day attracted more of the younger demographic, presumably because they’re more tech-savvy. Compared to a regular day, the number of transactions on 11.11 made by those aged 18 to 24 grew by 1022 percent.This doesn’t mean that the older population didn’t do their fair share of shopping though.

Lazada, Shopee, and Zalora gained the most social media engagement as well as online share of voice during November 6 to 12.

The 2019 11.11 sale is bigger than last year’s.

Consumers spent an average of P1,217 this year, 10 percent higher the 2018’s P1,106. This number is expected to only grow in the upcoming 12.12 sale, with shoppers doing their last-minute Christmas shopping and enjoying their 13th month bonuses.

As early as now, the big three online marketplaces have started hyping their 12.12 shopping event. So if you missed the 11.11 sale, this is the perfect time to take advantage of the discounts and shop on a budget. Just remember to plan ahead and make a list of the things you need to make sure you don’t max out your credit card and clean out your savings account.

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