Retailers can ride online mega sale excitement

Online sales have more advantages as they are also accessible via the social media


E-COMMERCE marketplaces and digital malls’ aggressive online campaigns could be a profitable channel for traditional retailers besides the conventional mega sales programme.

Malaysia Retail Chain Association council member Raymond Woo said consumers react similarly to bargains at both physical and online stores.

“Tactically, retailers engage in multiple sales channels and not just via their physical retail stores.

“These online sales are quite similar to those of physical stores’ mega sales, where consumers would anxiously wait for the big day.

“The mode of engagement has changed, but consumers’ reactions remain the same,” he told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) recently.

Woo added that online sales have more advantages as they are also accessible via the social media.

“E-commerce platforms’ social media engagements such as Facebook Live enhance customers’ experience.

“It is an ever-evolving sector and retailers need to innovate the buying experience for consumers to stay relevant,” he said.

Realising the potential of the online market to their total sales, Woo said many retailers are currently banking on the virtual stores to boost sales.

“With the success seen in the online segment, retailers may open a new department or team dedicated to planning online sales.

“It is no frill, just lower the price. This approach could spur sales and even target the impulsive shoppers,” he said.

However, Woo said online sales may not be entirely effective for big-ticket items due to security reasons in addition to consumers being cautious.

“For example, buying a mobile phone in a shop versus online is a different thing as it is a complex item and consumers’ needs differ when it comes to mobile phones.

“Also, at the moment the market is soft, and people are more careful about spending,” he said.

For its Sept 9 sale, the 9.9 Super Shopping Day, Shopee’s total number of orders increased threefold compared to the same event in 2018. At its peak, this year’s mega sale sold 187,606 items in a minute.

Shopee offered 113 million deals while garnering an increase of 6,780 times in traffic and 400 times growth in sales compared to any other day.

Home appliances, beauty products, IT accessories and smartphones were the most sought-after categories during the sale.

Global online retailers often pick catchy dates for their campaigns to get people’s attention like Shopee’s 9.9

sale on Sept 9 and 11.11 sales on Nov 11. Lazada’s annual 12.12 Grand Finale sales was introduced on Dec 12, 2012.

Lazada Malaysia has been leveraging on the entertainment side to boost sales and pull traffic to its platform.

“When we started last year’s Lazada 11.11 Supershow in November 2018, we invited consumers to tune into a star-studded show and participate.

“The show was on television, but consumers could engage using the Lazada app. Some 4.5 million Malaysians saw the 2.5-hour show.

“It was a variety-styled show with different vouchers to be collected for those tuning in — a first of its kind. We had an overwhelming response,” chief marketing officer Diana Boo told TMR.

She added that statistics on consumer behaviour have proven that customers want to be kept entertained while purchasing and get rewarded on top of their spending.