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Most New Zealanders do not know, but tomorrow is the biggest shopping day in China.

However, many Kiwi retailers know this and are becoming increasingly involved in the phenomenon that is the Day of the Singles. The event has become a great success in recent years by merging entertainment, e-commerce, smart selling technology and the traditional purchase of bricks and mortars.

The Singles Day, or 11.11 as it is commonly known in China, which takes place on the 11th of the eleventh month, is fast becoming a calendar item for many New Zealand brands.

The Auckland-based e-commerce beauty retailer MYM has spent most of the five weeks preparing for the big day.

"We prepare well in advance, we have to make sure of all the actions we deliver," says Andrew Cardy, co-founder of MYM (the name comes from "decide").

The online retailer even participated in the pre-sale action that the e-commerce giant Alibaba – which founded the event 10 years ago – and JD.com do a great deal of business.

"11.11, we expect it to be much bigger than last year," says Cardy. "It's a great calendar event and there's a lot of preparation time with the marketing team to make everything work."

Last year, Alibaba alone generated $ 25.3 billion ($ 38.2b) in sales during the one-day event, surpassing sales for both Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday in the US. UU

Cardy says that 11.11 is commercially viable, since retailers can sell unwanted shares at discounted prices and offers often attract new customers who buy products that are not for sale.

MYM operates from a distribution space of 230 square meters in the suburb of Avondale, West Auckland. He currently registers $ 100,000 in sales each week, wants to reach $ 1 million in a single month, and expects that to be that month, thanks to the combination of the Singles Day, Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday.

On the day, it will offer discounts of up to 50 percent on perfumes, makeup and other beauty products.

The day of the singles is in its infancy here. PriceSpy's price comparison website research shows that three-quarters of Kiwis do not know what 11.11 is, despite being the largest online shopping and online shopping day in the world.

Retailers and kiwi brands participating in 11.11 are doing it largely online, though Retail NZ General Manager Greg Harford says those sales will reach physical stores in the next few years.

"New Zealand often picks up retail trends that started overseas … Cyber ​​Monday and Black Friday are good examples of that, and even Halloween," says Harford.

"Retailers are increasingly adopting these international shopping events, not only because they want to serve Chinese customers here, but also because New Zealand customers are buying online and seeing these international sales on international websites and are looking to New Zealand retailers to replicate some of these available offers. "

The staff of the courier company disputes packages for the Day of the Singles in the Chinese province of Zhejiang. Photo / Supplied
The staff of the courier company disputes packages for the Day of the Singles in the Chinese province of Zhejiang. Photo / Supplied

New Zealand organic skin care brand, Essano, will make its 11.11 debut in the Chinese market tomorrow, through a flagship store on the Tmall platform of Alibaba.

The brand was invited to be on the shopping site, and Essano's general export manager, Anthony Gadsdon, says he expects about 20 times his average daily sales.

You will have a 25% discount on skin care and hair care during the event.

The skin care brand Fernz also participates, for the third year in a row. The cult favorites among Chinese consumers such as Linden Leaves, Trilogy, Ecostore, Antipodes, Comvita and Vogels are among the more or less 700 New Zealand brands that will also participate.

Ecostore won more than $ 1 million in sales on the Day of the Bachelor last year, surpassing the previous year's totals in an hour and a half of entry to the event.

The environmentally friendly cleaning products company has sent 30 40-foot containers to China to accommodate an expected sales influx.

Fernz spokesperson for skin care, Kai Du, says that Single Day is becoming its biggest sales period of the year. To mark the occasion, he offered a buy-one-get-one-free offer at the pre-sale that has already run out.

During the 24-hour period, they sleep at the Tmall and JD.com headquarters so they can keep their fingers on the pulse, even taking turns napping under the desks.

"We set aside a limited amount of 3000 units of the promotional offer and this year we sold out in a week."

The newspaper giant Fonterra also participates in the event with several of its brands, including Anchor, Anmum and Anlene, which offer limited edition gift boxes and bulk packages.

It has 2000 old Anchor gift boxes that Fonterra's vice president of consumer brands, Chester Cao, says he expects to run out in a few hours. The company has been part of 11.11 for six years.

Cao says that it is difficult to describe the intensity of the retail phenomenon, not only in the day but also in the previous period.

"Our e-commerce team has been planning our campaigns for months and working closely with e-commerce platforms, and there are many sleepless nights," he says. "During the 24-hour period, they sleep at the Tmall and JD.com headquarters so they can keep their fingers on the pulse, even taking turns napping under the desks."

Founder of Alibaba and outgoing president, Jack Ma. Photo / Getty Images
Founder of Alibaba and outgoing president, Jack Ma. Photo / Getty Images

Fonterra has partnerships with eight Chinese e-commerce platforms, including smaller sites such as Suning and Yihaodian.

While it will promote its Anchor brand during 11.11, it is one of the few brands that will not offer discounts. "We keep our prices to reflect Anchor's premium position in China and help the brand stand out," says Cao.

"For us, it is much more than a window to sell more products than usual … with high levels of online traffic, it is a real opportunity for us to reach a greater number of consumers with our brand."

On 11.11 last year, Fonterra made sales of more than $ 21.75 million in all its brands, an increase of 67% over the previous year, and had more than 30 million consumers who visited its stores online.

New Zealand is a high performance market for products in the Alibaba markets, particularly in relation to the scale of the market.

Alibaba will host its annual live gala event on the night of November 10 (China time), which will feature a series of high profile guests, reality stars, actors and musicians, a four-hour fashion " see now, buy now. " Show and interactive video games.

Coupons and pre-sales are at the forefront of Alibaba's plans for the Singles Day this year, says Australia and New Zealand managing director Maggie Zhou.

"As part of the 24-day pre-sale period, Alibaba has a series of activities such as Treasure Hunt, where users participate in interactive games to win coupons and coupons for red packets totaling up to RMB1 billion," she says. .

The coupons represent a dollar value discount that can be spent online.

11.11 began in 2009 with only 27 merchants. This year there are 180,000 brands and 200,000 "smart stores" offline participating in the event in the Alibaba ecosystem, 700 of New Zealand, compared to 400 last year.

"New Zealand is a high-performance market for products in the Alibaba markets, particularly in relation to the scale of the New Zealand market," says Zhou.

"Last year, during the 11.11 global shopping festival, New Zealand ranked 14th worldwide in the Tmall and Tmall Global markets."