Practicology is now Pattern

By Desiree Wong | Consultant

With China’s largest online shopping day, taking place on Sunday, consultant Desiree Wong, offers her top three, last minute 11/11 trading tips for retailers and brands.

The 11/11 global shopping festival is approaching its 10th anniversary, with 180,000 brands and 600 million consumers set to participate this year. Alibaba’s growth also shows no signs of slowing, as revenues increased 54% in the last quarter alone and with nearly half the population of China now shopping on the platform.

With Singles’ Day sales climbing to 168.2 billion yuan ($24.2 billion) last year, the shopping phenomenon is undoubtedly an opportunity for retailers and brands. Yet, to help avoid some of the associated risks and costs, here are our three, last minute 11/11 trading tips for selling on Tmall.

Alibaba Singles Day sales 2011-2017.jpg

1. Merchandise preparation

Make sure you have sufficient stocks of hero products and selected products with deep discounts ready before the start of 11/11. Depending on the product category, stock levels needed for the event can be between 1.5x and 3x the typical amount.

Other than stock level preparation, products that are expected to sell quickly should be prepackaged before any actual orders are placed. This way, the warehouse teams can save time picking & packing products and can process the delivery as soon as orders are received.

2. Promotion Mechanism Internal Alignment

It is essential that all internal team members are aligned on the promotion strategy and mechanisms prior to 11/11.

In the decade since the first Singles’ Day, promotional tactics used by trading teams has become more sophisticated and, along with it, more complicated. Trading teams, especially front-end members, must be clear about the strategy, aware of when certain discounts are on offer and ensure communications are consistent when handling customer enquiries. 

Some brands spread their 11/11 activity across a variety of different online marketplaces and platforms, instead of solely offering deep discounts on Tmall alone. In this scenario, organising an alignment meeting should minimize any conflicts between the channels.

3. Human Resources Planning

Last but not least, 11/11 is an intensive day of shopping. Human resources planning is of utmost importance and retailers and brands should ensure that there are enough front-end & back-end staff to support all activity during the key 24 hours.

Some of the tasks include supporting the massive influx of customer enquiries, picking, packing and dispatching orders, formulating marketing strategies with real-time adjustment based on the sales performance, and handling restocking and merchandising. 

Tmall is such a dynamic environment that there are ever-changing challenges. Everyday trading on the platform requires marketers to constantly test and learn. Other than the three tips mentioned here, you can find more advice in our Tmall Trading Tips blog.

If you want to know more about Tmall trading best practices or would like to discuss your business’ Singles’ Day results, please contact us


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