Daily Insights

Luxury Brands Find the Answer To Singles’ Day Promotional Riddle

By: FeiFei Li | Nov 13, 2020

The world’s largest online retail event, Alibaba’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, has become a key battlefield for luxury brands with more than 200 luxury brands joining the sales extravaganza this year. 

The luxury industry has increasingly shifted its strategy towards China and Tmall after the nation’s quick recovery from the pandemic. According to Gartner’s Digital IQ Index: Luxury China 2020, 63% of luxury brands now have official Tmall stores, up from only 37% last year. Instead of promotions and discounts, luxury brands are leveraging experiential incentives to win over Chinese consumers. Three key strategies utilized by luxury brands to build buzz, traffic, and sales for Singles’ Day included gifts and services, limited edition products, and online-to-offline (O2O) activations supported by livestreaming. “While luxury is relatively new, there is already much that other industries can learn from their approach to Tmall and 11.11 specifically, as they innovate to navigate the highly promotional platform and its highly promotional sales periods without succumbing to discounting and diluting their brands,” says Danielle Bailey, MVP APAC at Gartner for Marketers.

Offer Gifts and Premium Services Rather Than Discounts and Promotions

Experiential gifts have become a common tactic for driving traffic to Tmall store launches and offline events, and in conjunction with loyalty rewards, differentiate and elevate brand experiences. For 11.11, luxury brands incentivize purchases with experiential gifts instead of providing discounts and promotions. 

For example, Piaget offers a variety of gifts, such as jewelry bags for loyalty members and jewelry boxes for purchases of 20,000 RMB or more. Other gifts include rose-scented candles, computer bags, and card bags. Piaget extends the brand experience into customers’ daily lives when they light up the rose-scented candles at home, or carry their computers in computer bags. Providing premium services is another way luxury brands look to to attract customers. Notably, Cartier launched a new product for Singles’ Day and offered interest-free installment payments, special packaging, and white glove delivery as a part of the premium services. 

Launch Singles’ Day Special Editions

For Singles’ Day, luxury brands launched special edition products that were at mid or lower price points, thus more accessible, but also in limited quantities to create exclusivity. This marks Burberry’s third year launching special edition scarves for Singles’ Day. The first 100 customers to complete payment received special gifts, and loyalty members who purchased two or more items received a gift. 

Dior was among leading luxury brands launching Single’s Day exclusive collections.  Dior’s ambassador Angelababy and Friends of the Brand young idols Liu Yuxin and Meng Meiqi, promoted the collection, which consisted of limited-edition bags and accessories to attract young consumers. The Weibo hashtag #Dior Single’s Day Limited Edition# received 34.5 million views. The handbag was priced at ¥23,500 RMB ($3544 USD) near the midpoint for Dior handbags. Pre-orders were available on the brand’s WeChat Mini Program and the site, and customers could receive special packaging and personalized note cards upon delivery. 

Integrate Omnichannel Activations into 11.11 Campaigns

As covered in Gartner’s Luxury China 2020, Digital IQ Key Findings, luxury brands have resumed large-scale offline events in China and often amplify them with livestreams. On Tmall, luxury brands are raising the production value of livestreams and prioritizing customer education and brand storytelling over mere transactions. 

After a best-in-class Tmall launch and a series of Tmall marketing activations, Cartier launched its first Tmall livestream to promote an offline jewelry exhibition for [SUR]NATUREL collection for 11.11. Cartier livestreamed with Friend of the Brand Victoria Song at the offline exhibition, receiving more than 777,000 views. During the livestream, Victoria Song and the hosts discussed selected jewelry pieces from the collection and played games. Cartier also integrated pre-recorded interviews with celebrity attendees at the exhibition. Customers were encouraged to make reservations to attend the exhibition via its WeChat Mini Program.