Grab the best deals during Singles’ Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
November, as any self-respecting online bargain hunter would know, is an exciting month of online sales – on Saturday, the Singles’ Day or 11.11 sale takes place, followed by Black Friday on Nov 24 and Cyber Monday on Nov 27.
These events have been growing in popularity year on year, so much so even brick-and-mortar retailers have rolled out their own editions.
For the first time this year, department store Metro is holding a Singles’ Day sale on Saturday, offering buy-one-get-one-free deals as well as 20 per cent discounts for card members. And for the second year in a row, it is holding a Black Friday sale from Nov 24 to 26, offering up to 75 per cent in discounts.
During Black Friday, it will open its Paragon and Centrepoint stores at 7.30am and provide breakfast – including coffee and chocolate muffins – until 10am for its early-bird shoppers.
“The retail landscape is changing and we are constantly evolving to keep up with the trends and to stay relevant,” says Ms Peggy Tan, Metro’s marketing manager.
Department store Robinsons is also organising 11.11 and Black Friday sales across its three stores as well as online. Since these sales coincide with the year-end festive season, they are appropriate for those looking to do their Christmas shopping, says a Robinsons spokesman.
Drugstore chain Watsons is holding its 11.11 sales from now until Wednesday on its website and app. And this year, MAC Cosmetics and The Body Shop have joined Lazada’s platform in time for its Online Revolution sale, in hopes of increasing their online reach.
Even heartland family businesses and smaller mom-and-pop shops are looking to cash in on the action. These include shoe stores Mimosa and Dr Kong, industrial power tools store Teck Cheong Hardware, camping equipment store Winning International and baby and nursing products store Mums & Babes.
E-commerce platforms such as Qoo10, Lazada, Shopee, Taobao, ezbuy and Zalora are bracing themselves for when the online sale season flags off with 11.11.
“As consumers’ needs continue to evolve rapidly, more retailers are beginning to understand the value of adopting an omnichannel retail strategy,” says Mr Zhou Junjie, Shopee’s Singapore country head.
Consumers are shopping more online and since “it is difficult to develop a high-performing Web infrastructure from the ground up, many retailers turn to platforms like Shopee”, he adds.
The platform saw a 35 per cent increase in the number of seller sign-ups in the month leading up to its 11.11 Shopee Super Sale, 40 per cent of which have a physical retail presence, says Mr Zhou. He adds that the number of sellers with brick-and-mortar stores on the platform has increased by 60 per cent this year, compared with last year.
To prep for this month’s sales period, Qoo10 is extending its retail space into the physical world, with a fair at Suntec City’s atrium and 20 merchants setting up booths selling beauty, food and lifestyle products until Sunday.
Mr Hyun Wook Cho, Qoo10 Singapore’s country manager, says that about 80 per cent of its sellers operate physical stores and that more merchants now let customers pick up purchases at their stores.
The November period means bumper sales for Lazada, whose Online Revolution sale offers discounts of up to 90 per cent. During this period, says Mr Alexis Lanternier, chief executive of Lazada Singapore, the orders placed on key sale dates can go up to 10 times of a regular day’s.
This year, the site has more than 5,000 participating local sellers for the sale, twice the number compared with last year.
Piano teacher Tan Yien, 28, says she gladly welcomes the arrival of more traditional brick-and-mortar stores to the online sale period as this means more options for shoppers.
The mother-of-two regularly buys household products and groceries such as diapers and milk powder online and shops at sales looking for discounts, promotions and freebies.
She particularly enjoyed a 11.11 sale last year that featured “surprise boxes” – in which shoppers could get a hundred dollars’ worth of mystery brand-name products in a box for $29.
“That was quite fun because of the surprise element.”
The only thing to be wary of, she says, is that during such sales, there may be delays in shipping due to the volume of orders being dealt with.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 09, 2017, with the headline ‘It’s sale season‘.