11.11 Sale 2020 (SEA): How Top E-tailers Maximised Sales

11.11 Sale 2020 (SEA): How Top E-tailers Maximised Sales

Written by Sufiana SharuddinNovember 25, 2020

11.11 Sale 2020 (SEA): How Top E-tailers Maximised Sales

Singles’ Day 2020 was a resounding success despite Covid-19 and a bleak economic outlook in Southeast Asia. This year’s Singles’ Day sale or regionally better known as 11.11, surpassed last year’s numbers in record time as consumers latched onto discounts offered by marketplaces such as Lazada, Shopee and more.

What is Singles’ Day? 

Singles’ Day is an informal holiday celebrated in China that perpetuated a major shopping festival, started by Chinese tech giant Alibaba. Since 2009, it has become the biggest offline and online shopping day in the country. The 24-hour event is known for deep price slashes up to 90% across all product categories, particularly fashion.

This year, Alibaba hauled in 498.2 billion yuan (USD $74.1 billion) through its two main marketplaces, Tmall and Taobao. While rival marketplace, JD.com made 271.5 billion yuan (USD $40.97 billion) during the same trading period. The shopping bonanza has gained steam outside of China as well. 

Singles’ Day is now a mainstay event in Southeast Asia with many mega e-commerce platforms including Shopee, Tokopedia and Alibaba’s subsidiary, Lazada, participating in the event annually. In many ways, it is Asia’s answer to Black Friday. 

The 11.11 Sale in Numbers

For the fashion segment, Shopee had 72% of its total assortment on discount across Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines. Markdowns went as high as 80%, however, Omnilytics indicated 41% was the average discount rate. Additionally, coupons, free delivery and bundles were offered to increase basket sizes. 

Product count data also revealed Shopee pushed more volume compared to last year. Overall, the e-tailer recorded more than +100% growth in the number of discounted SKUs and +700% for women’s products specifically.

Lazada was even more aggressive with its sale – our data showed nearly 90% of its total assortment was on markdown and the average discount rate came up to 46%. The majority of these products were discounted within the range of 35-57% off. 

Sell-out rate surpassed last year’s 11.11 by 62%. Similar to Shopee, Lazada also offered free delivery, special cash rebates and ‘Crazy Flash’ sales for deals going as low as 11 cents. 

Indonesia’s Tokopedia had a more modest 11.11 sale, only slightly less than of its total fashion assortment was on discount with 40% off as the average discount rate.  However, this was still a 32% growth in product count compared to 9.9, the precursor to Single’s Day. 

Despite having fewer SKUs, the platform’s sell-out rate was on par with its Southeast Asian counterparts. Unlike other countries, Indonesia has its own annual shopping day called ‘Harbolnas’ on 12 December, which is more significant than 11.11 locally. 

Discounting Overview 

11.11 sale 2020: Discount summary by Lazada and Shopee.
Discount summary by Lazada and Shopee. Source: Omnilytics dashboard

Both Lazada and Shopee had similar discount spreads, the bulk of the assortment sat within the 25%-55% off range. Shopee had a slightly wider discount spread, between 24-55% off, but a higher average discount rate compared to the former.

11.11 2020: Lazada and Shopee's discount breakdown against sell-out
Lazada and Shopee’s discount breakdown against sell-out. Source: Omnilytics dashboard

The findings also broke down the number of discounted SKUs against sell-out performance. As seen in the chart, Shopee had more products on discount in contrast to Lazada with the latter exceeding 50,000 SKUs in the 50-59% off range. Lazada also focused the majority of its discounted SKUs within the same range but only amounting to 12,000 SKUs.

Generally, Shopee maintained a consistent sell-out rate across every discount range. However, the sell-out rates paled in comparison to the sheer volume of products. Discount ranges of 40-59% off registered the most sold-out products.

On the other hand, Lazada had a more dynamic trade performance. It converted the highest sell-out rate on the 40-49% off range, at exactly 16% sell-out. This was followed by the 20-29% off range, while the 60-69% off range recorded the lowest sell-out rate.

What were the Best-selling Categories?

Womenswear commanded the majority at both retailers across all markets. At Lazada, 67% of the discounted assortment was dedicated to womens, while menswear took up 26% and the remaining fell under children.

The gap was less apparent at Shopee where womenswear occupied just under 60% of the assortment, menswear at 31%, another 2% for unisex products and the rest also under children.

The top three categories at Lazada were shoes, tops and bags. Sandals & flip flops led the sell-out contribution for shoes, followed closely by sneakers. Sandals & flip flops have long been a staple since the introduction of lockdowns in the region.

Other subcategories that followed the ‘stay at home’ trend were t-shirts that recorded a 15% sell-out rate. Bags were a surprising winner at the platform, styles such as crossbody and shoulder bags were highly popular during the sale.

Shoes and tops were also among the best-selling categories at Shopee, however, the best-selling category was revealed to be activewear. Apparel products such as tops and leggings were the main drivers for this category. High discounts were offered for jerseys and t-shirts from household brands like Nike and Adidas.

Livestreams Shopping: The Future of E-commerce

Livestreams have become an indispensable factor in 11.11’s popularity. Utilised to entertain and market products, all platforms hosted their own livestream concerts to keep consumers entertained while they shopped.

The scale of such events has increased tenfold propelling the shopping festival, as it gains esteem abroad. This year, Alibaba had live appearances from mega-celebrities such as Taylor Swift and Kim Kardashian to promote their products on TMall.

Stray Kids performing at Shopee Indonesia’s 11.11 livestream concert. Image credit: Shopee ID Instagram

SEA e-commerce platforms hired popular K-pop acts as brand ambassadors to expand their presence among younger consumers in the region. Shopee Indonesia’s 11.11 concert was headlined by popular boyband Stray Kids, streamed directly from South Korea. The concert was aired on Shopee’s YouTube channel along with local tv broadcast.

The 11.11 Sale at a Glance

This year’s 11.11 sale welcomed a massive boost in spending for the e-commerce industry in Southeast Asia. After months of unceasing lockdowns and limited operations for stores, consumer’s positive reaction to 11.11 underlines an economic recovery in the region.

Overall, products discounted within the 40-59% range converted the highest sell-out rates. However, these discounts were further supplemented by rebates, discount codes and free shipping.

Consumers are continuing to shop for their most immediate needs. Products that are synonymous with the ‘stay at home’ trend such as activewear, flip flops and t-shirts continue to dictate shopping preferences.

Stay tuned for a full breakdown on the 11.11 sales by our Business Intelligence team. The report will outline key markdown strategies and discount mechanics deployed to help brands and retailers understand, anticipate and prepare for future retail events.

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