Southeast Asians shoppers get most excited about Christmas according to a new study. Source:

Southeast Asians shoppers get most excited about Christmas according to a new study. Source:

Is Singles’ Day really not SEA’s biggest shopping festival?

AS THE YEAR comes to a close, retailers both online and offline are gearing up for their most crucial shopping quarter — the festive season.

Many sales events are organized in this quarter, but which one generates the most buzz in the region? The answer will surprise you.

New shopping trends such as Black Friday and Single’s Day, maybe taking the world by storm, but for Southeast Asians (SEA) shoppers, Christmas is when they get most excited about according to a new study.

Online chatter about Christmas shopping was a whopping 56.6 percent while Black Friday generated 22.5 percent of the total buzz. Single’s Day pulled in 20.9 percent.

The study by Meltwater analyzed social media mentions of Christmas, Black Friday, and Single’s Day that corresponded with conversations about shopping in the millions social media posts across multiple platforms in four countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Singapore.

The analysis was done during the year-end shopping period.

Indonesia had the highest volume of conversations – 57 percent. This can be attributed to the recent surge in connectivity following higher internet penetration and smartphone usage.

Thirty percent of the chatter came from the Philippines and Malaysia accounted for 12 percent.

Amazon was most talked about in Singapore, and Shopee created the most buzz in Indonesia. Malaysians’ preferred e-commerce platform was Lazada, while the Filipinos liked Qoo10.

Along with the report, Meltwater shared four tips to capitalize on consumer sentiment during the festive season and drive up sales:

# 1 | Leverage data:

In order to achieve frictionless e-commerce experience, vendors should utilize cross-device data to cater to the need of the shopper, as well as foster deeper connection.

Clunky and glitchy point-of-sale (POS) systems and slow loading websites often ruin customers’ experience – which then leads to loss of sale.

One study from the Boston Consulting Group estimated that US$325 billion worth of business is lost each year in the Asia Pacific region, due to poor POS and online experiences.

# 2 | Early birds get the worms:

Meltwater data shows that consumers start talking about holiday shopping way in advance. The companies that often created the most buzz were the ones that reached out to shoppers early with targeted promotions and offers.

“The common thread between the winning brands – whether that is Lazada, Amazon, or Shopee – lies in their early planning and ability to start campaigns earlier,” said Meltwater Asia Pacific, Regional Director Mimrah Mahmood, according to The Business Times. 

He added, “Whether that is locking down influencers early or working with merchants for promotional activity, it’s clear that having a first mover advantage in such a competitive environment is critical.”

# 3 | Personalized offerings:

Data can provide valuable insight into the shopping trends and behavior of the consumer. Retailers need to capitalize on this data and approach potential customers with a more customized offering.

Eighty percent of customers are more likely to do business with a firm if it offers personalized services, according to one Epsilon research.

# 4 | Reward loyalty:

Seeking new customers to grow the market is essential, but so is rewarding returning and loyal customers.

Shoppers satisfied with the initial service provided are likely to bring in repeat business.

Vendors are advised to use information such as purchase history and insights on online and social behavior to engage and reward customers to foster deeper loyalty.

“Data from social listening can help brands test the effectiveness of campaigns and derive actionable insights. By understanding the volume and sentiment of what’s being said about them during a specific period or in relation to a specific topic, brands can identify whether or not it is worth investing more resources towards that end,” added Mahmood.

The SEA e-commerce market is worth billions of dollars, and vendors need to adapt their approach to meet consumer expectations if they want to succeed here.

To that end, the emergence of new trends and technology should be seen as an opportunity to improve, and not disruptive as customers always tend to gravitate towards brands that innovate.



This is the sixth in a series of stories that Tech Wire Asia will produce to help e-commerce readers better understand and plan for Singles’ Day this year.