Mega sales days such as 11.11 (Singles' Day) and 12.12 (Double 12) are the most two important days in the eCommerce calendar, as they offer both shoppers and eCommerce businesses a unique opportunity. During these days, businesses can generate a significant amount of revenue, while customers can get their desired products at discounted prices. These mega sales events have witnessed unprecedented growth and success.

Successful mega sales days require careful planning and execution. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the best practices that eCommerce businesses can follow, along with examples of brands that have followed through with these practices.

8 Mega sales day best practice to maximise sales

1. Plan ahead

The first and most crucial step towards a successful mega sales day is to plan ahead. Businesses should initiate their planning process months in advance to develop a comprehensive strategy, secure inventory, and prepare their website to handle the anticipated traffic surge. This planning process should include setting goals, creating a promotional calendar, and deciding on discounts and offers to be available during the sale.

An excellent example of an eCommerce business that excels in planning ahead for mega sales days is Amazon. Amazon's annual Prime Day event requires a significant amount of preparation, including securing deals from vendors and ensuring their website can handle the surge of traffic. Amazon's meticulous planning has paid off, as they generated $11 billion in sales during their 2021 Prime Day event, setting a new record.

In Southeast Asia, before any double dates and payday sales days, Shopee and Lazada will launch a comprehensive omnichannel marketing campaign surrounding the event. This includes a combination of social media marketing, influencer partnerships, email marketing, and digital advertising to reach a wide audience and build the interest of consumers to be on the lookout for deals and discounts.

At the same time, they will also collaborate with businesses to offer exclusive deals and promotions. For instance, Shopee recently collaborated with Apple premium resellers like Machines, Switch, and TMT Thunder for Apple Super Brand Days to offer discounts on Apple products such as iPhones, iPads, MacBooks and more. The associated promotion banner is prominently featured on the first page of the slider of its mobile app homepage, with limited-time flash sales on different products each day to further drive consumer engagement. Shopee also employed gamification by integrating a contest with its Shopee Farm game whereby users can gain a ticket to win an AirPods Pro (2nd generation) after they have successfully sown and harvested the respective plant.

2. Create a sense of urgency

One of the primary benefits of mega sales days is the sense of urgency they create in shoppers. Customers know that these sales are only available for a limited time, and they must act quickly to take advantage of the discounts. eCommerce businesses can enhance this sense of urgency by creating a countdown clock on their website, offering limited-time deals, and highlighting popular products that are selling out quickly.

Lazada and Shopee's 11.11 Big Sale has captured the attention of millions, both consumers and businesses. They usually generate buzz and excitement around its 11.11 Big Sale by creating early campaign teasers weeks before the day of the said event. From social media, email marketing, and digital advertising to in-app notifications, these prompts create a sense of urgency and encourage consumers to save the date and put items in their shopping carts and purchase them on the day of the event.

3. Optimise your website and mobile app

Mega sales days can put a significant strain on eCommerce websites and mobile apps, causing slow load times and crashes due to the upsurge in visits and searches. To ensure their websites and mobile apps can handle the increased traffic, eCommerce businesses should optimise their site by using a content delivery network (CDN), compressing images and other media, and implementing caching.

Shopify is an excellent example of an eCommerce business that optimised its website for a mega sales day. During the 2020 Black Friday sale, Shopify merchants processed over $2.4 billion in sales. To ensure their platform could handle this volume, Shopify optimised their servers and implemented a CDN to speed up load times.

Besides, eCommerce platforms like Lazada and Shopee are no strangers to optimising their websites and mobile apps for better user experience. Shopee prioritises mobile shopping and its app is optimised for fast and simple browsing, searching, and purchasing, catering to Southeast Asian consumers who prefer mobile commerce. Indonesia possesses the highest mobile e-commerce penetration rate in the world while Thailand is the champ in mobile banking penetration. This indicates companies should uphold user-friendliness when they optimise their website and mobile apps.

4. Reliable payment and logistics solutions

If a company is unable to provide a robust payment processing solution that can handle massive volumes of transactions and ensure timely order fulfilment and delivery during mega sales days, it spells troubles like disappointing customers, damaging its brand reputation, and losing out on sales opportunities.

Macy, a North American retail giant, encountered a payment setback in 2017 that left many customers frustrated. Its credit card system was down for hours on Black Friday and this incident puts a further dent in its already-declining revenue then.

For fulfilment delays, McKinsey found “single prolonged shock to production could wipe out 30% to 50% of one year’s earnings before interest, taxes, and depreciation”. According to Shopify, 26% of customers will abandon their shopping carts if the checkout process is too long and 32% will not proceed to purchase if the estimated shipping time is too long.

In short, it is imperative that online retailers sufficiently invest in reliable payment processing systems and maintain efficient logistics operations for customer satisfaction and revenue generation.

5. Live streaming

Live streaming has emerged as a dynamic tool that empowers businesses to engage with their customers in real-time. By leveraging platforms like YouTube, Facebook Live, or Twitch, companies can provide interactive and immersive experiences that captivate audiences. During mega sales days, live streaming can be utilised to showcase exclusive product reveals, demonstrate product features, and conduct engaging Q&A sessions with industry experts. These broadcasts create a sense of excitement, as customers can witness and participate in the event virtually, fostering a stronger connection and generating anticipation for the upcoming mega sales day.

Nike, a leading sportswear brand, has effectively utilised live streaming to generate buzz and engage with customers during its highly anticipated sneaker release events. In 2022, Nike introduced the "Nike Air Max Day" live stream event, where they unveiled new sneaker designs and offered exclusive discounts for a limited time. The live stream allowed customers to experience the event in real-time, interact with Nike representatives, and get a closer look at the featured products. This interactive approach created a sense of urgency and excitement, leading to increased customer engagement and anticipation for the upcoming release. The live stream event garnered millions of views and helped drive significant sales on the designated mega sales day.

6. Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing has also proven to be a highly effective strategy in driving engagement and boosting sales. By partnering with influencers and affiliate marketers, businesses can tap into their established networks and leverage their influence to promote mega sales days. Influencers can create engaging content, such as product reviews, unboxing videos, or personal testimonials that highlight the unique offerings and exclusive deals customers can expect during the event. Their authentic endorsements and personal connections with their audience generate trust and curiosity, driving traffic and increasing the overall reach of the mega sales day campaign. Additionally, implementing an affiliate programme allows businesses to incentivise influencers by offering them a commission for each sale generated through their unique affiliate links, further motivating them to actively promote the event.

Sephora's Beauty Insider Programme has demonstrated the effectiveness of affiliate marketing in driving engagement and preparation for their mega sales events. Through collaborations with beauty influencers, Sephora encouraged influencers to promote their products and exclusive deals to their audience, earning commissions through affiliate links. Influencers shared personalised recommendations, tutorials, and product demonstrations across various platforms, generating excitement and anticipation. The programme tapped into a network of trusted influencers, leveraging their credibility to increase website traffic, conversions, and sales during the mega sales event. Sephora's successful implementation of affiliate marketing showcases the power of influencer collaborations in driving engagement and boosting sales. 

7. Put double date on your visual

On-point visuals can help you create a successful mega sale campaign. Incorporate elements that signify that your business is participating on mega sale days. For example, you can add elements such as double date, which is usually when the mega sale day happens, such as 9.9, 8.8, 11.11 on your visual.

Make sure to make the elements can be easily identified but do not take too much space. Simple visual elements such as double date on your visual can help notify mega sale shoppers that your business participates in the sales day and might have an offer they might be interested in. Putting a double date can also help audience to remember your product which they might want to purchase on the mega sales day.

Other than that, you can also experiment with bold visuals that can help to entice customers to take a look at your products.

8. Utilise your social media account

Mega sale shoppers mainly use social media to discover product they wanted and even new products and a considerable amount of them are also first time online shoppers. Therefore, it is imperative for your business to utilise social media to promote your products, whether it is to create awareness for new and existing users.

Short form videos or stories in Instagram can be a powerful tool to achieve those goals. Video can contain a lot of information which helps new customers to understand your product better. Do not forget to also maximise the power of influencer. Relatability is one of the driving factors behind mega sale transactions and shoppers prefer an authentic creator-driven content rather than generic one created by brand.

Mastering the best practices to unlock better returns

Mega sales events have become a significant phenomenon in the retail industry. Businesses can follow these best practices for successful mega sales days as it will help them attract and retain customers, increase revenue, and boost their brand reputation. The strategic application of these best practices not only ensures financial rewards for merchants but also provides a positive and enjoyable purchase experience for their customers.

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