NOVEMBER 11, or 11.11, was a big day for e-commerce around the world, but it was definitely more pronounced in the Philippines this 2018 than in the previous years. Weeks leading up to the big day, we’ve been bombarded with marketing and promotional activities online and offline: an LSS-inducing song here, a Facebook live contest there, and signs and ads everywhere. There were a lot of retail establishments who got on the program, and this could be taken as a good sign for growth: consumers are embracing e-commerce more and more given its accessibility and the enhancements on connectivity.
Now, in the aftermath of 11.11, we share 11 key takeaways from an 11/11 survivor that might prove useful in ensuing online retail events (12.12, we hear you!):
- CHOOSE YOUR BATTLEGROUND. While there are a lot of apps and sites that are offering great deals on 11/11, the reality is you can only use one when the clock strikes 12. I zeroed in on three apps, and after using them for a while and poring through the deals, I decided to go with Lazada for three reasons. 1) It’s more user-friendly. This is important to me because I easily get turned off by sites which are either not visually cohesive, or overly cluttered. It’s confusing. 2) The deals were better overall, including the variety of what’s offered in flash sales. 3) I’ve used it before and, so far, the experience has been good. In the end, I went with the one that was most familiar and has been in the market longer. Lazada has been doing it for the past several years, and I’ve actually done their Online Revolution a few times.
- SURVEY THE GOODS AND CHECK OUT THE DEALS. After reading up on tips and tricks online, I found out that you can actually add to cart and just wait for the clock to hit midnight. The prices will automatically drop after you refresh. If you are patient and have time to spare, it will be wise to look everywhere, in all categories, to scour the best deals. Some of them might not be shown on the homepage or in the featured corner because it’s not as popular, but our needs are unique. This is the equivalent of digging up the pile in department stores. There is joy in finding that one item that you think is a steal. Just keep adding to your cart, there’s no rule against collecting and selecting.
- ESTABLISH THE LIMITS. While we all have a budget in mind, you have to admit it could spiral out of control in the face of retail temptation. Things you never knew you wanted would manifest themselves and you won’t have the strength to let go. Opting for cash on delivery is one thing, and I also learned of the e-wallet, which you can actually top-up via online transfer. You enroll the wallet, transfer funds via your bank’s online facility, and it is good as cash. You can only spend what’s in your wallet, and an amount that you set yourself. This way, you don’t “accidentally” max out your credit card and end up overspending more than your finances can handle.
- TAKE TIME TO EDIT YOUR CART. Now that you’ve filled it up with all the things you want, it’s time to review what’s in it and ensure that you’re getting only the things you will find useful whether now or in the future.
- READ REVIEWS. One of the things that I found most helpful is the reviews section, especially if the deal is seemingly too good to be true. I’m under the impression these reviews are not as regulated to only show the positive since I’ve seen some bad reviews that actually convinced me not to push through with a purchase, and good ones that helped me make up my mind.
- KNOW WHERE TO LOOK. As opposed to how it was done before, most online sites now have “official stores” for brands that are selling directly, and not through resellers. I noted the LazMall badge on certain product pages. This apparently ensures us that the product is legitimately being sold by the brand itself. This then quickens the decision-making process for stuff that’s already familiar like lippies, detergent powder, mobile phones, diapers and the like.
- GEAR UP FOR BATTLE. Crazy as it may sound, but I actually cleared up my schedule to make sure I was somewhere with strong Wi-Fi at the stroke of midnight, afraid that I won’t get the deals I sought to avail if I wasn’t fast enough. I charged my phone and powerbank, as well. The first few seconds was stressful, I figured there were more people on the platform than expected, but I was able to check out after just a few tries. My preparation paid off!
- YOU MIGHT NEED AN ARMY IF YOU’RE KEEN ON GETTING A REALLY GOOD BARGAIN. This was what I wasn’t prepared for: I spotted a major deal for an instant still camera that’s normally priced around P4,000 being sold for just P11.00. The catch was that it’s part of a game called “Slash It,” where you have to send a link to about 45 friends who will help you “slash” the price with every unique click. I realized how some people had prepared better for that midnight moment as it sold out in less than 10 minutes, while I was still out there asking people if they’re awake.
- SHARE YOUR FINDS. There are teasers leading up to the big day, with question marks in place of actual numbers (e.g. P??6.75), which could pretty much give you an idea of how big the price drop will be. I forwarded screencaps of these to my friends and family who I thought would be interested. You would want them to do the same for you.
- IT NEVER ENDS. 11.11 is apparently a whole-day affair as I found myself checking out with a new set of stuff in my cart three more times after I had done so at midnight. Good thing the price drop was huge the first time, and it left me with a few more to spare in my e-wallet (and then of course, the real last check out was already cash on delivery option given that I’ve maxed out my e-wallet!).
- CELEBRATE YOUR WINS. Give yourself a pat on the back for surviving the biggest retail event ever without having to move from where you are. I ended up checking out a total of 80 items during this 11.11 sale, and still receiving deliveries as we speak. So far, I’m happy with the bargains, and looking forward to the next one.
We hope that these takeaways would prove useful as we gear up for the next wave of online sales on 12/12.