Even before the pandemic, retailers were beginning to expand their presence online and leverage the growing popularity of Mega Sale events. For many consumers, events such as the National Day Sale and Great Singapore Sale serve as entry points to online shopping. Indeed, according to a survey, around 86 % of consumers in Southeast Asia shared that they have purchased products online during Mega Sale days and e-commerce apps were among the top five frequently used.
While online shopping and e-commerce apps made considerable gains during the pandemic, it was not necessarily driven by massive increase in installs. In fact, Adjust’s APAC Mobile App Trends Report 2021 found that e-commerce installs only recorded a 27% growth rate. However, in Singapore, the time spent in-app is racing at 34 % in 2021 compared to 1 % increase in session rate for 2020, which shows that users became more engaged with the e-commerce brands they already love. This means brands hoping to keep new users while winning large in upcoming online sales must think strategically.
<img src="https://mia-prod.s3.ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/uploads/1632834385_young-lady-use-cellphone-order-online-shopping-product-paying-bills-with-banking-app-with-transaction-successful-stay-house-quarantine-activity-fun-activity-coronavirus-prevention.jpg" title="young-lady-use-cellphone-order-online-shopping-product-paying-bills-with-banking-app-with-transaction-successful-stay-house-quarantine-activity-fun-activity-coronavirus-prevention.jpg" width="512" height="270" alt="Hand photo created by tirachardz – www.freepik.com“>
Here are a few tips that can help brands increase their user engagement and maximise the unique opportunities available for e-commerce during these events:
- Do not be afraid to spend
Brands should be willing to spend to acquire new users. According to reports from Adjust, the paid versus organic install ratio in 2020 for e-commerce app in APAC was 0.37%. New users in this vertical tend to have good lifetime value (LTV) — and are backed by solid retention rates. Figures from Adjust report indicate an impressive retention rate of 8.59% on day 7 and 4.74% through day 30. Allocating a budget to acquire new users will not only pay off during the Mega Sale event, 11.11 Singles Day, the entire holiday shopping season, and beyond. These users will prove to be valuable in the long run.
- Consider new partnerships
No matter how great the app is, brands need the help of partners to find new audiences and drive installs. According to Adjust’s global data, the median number of partners per app hovers at around five for all verticals, increasing to six in Q4 of 2020 but e-commerce apps lag behind most other verticals when it comes to partnerships with other applications and brands. In general, e-commerce apps work with just four partners on average, which presents a huge opportunity to increase and diversify the number of partners they work with to find their next pocket of potential and new users.
Although it is a good idea to reach out to new users through previously untapped networks at any point of the year, collaborating with new partners during a Mega Sale event is a great way to increase brand reach. For instance, Lazada supported brands by allowing them to leverage the platform in the 2020 Great Singapore Sale, and then repeating the same success in 2021. Events like this can serve as opportunities for brands to branch out, give new partners a try, and discover a treasure trove of new users.
- Put retargeting to the test
New user acquisition (UA) is essential, but as app marketers are increasingly aware, retention and engagement are equally critical to making the most of the company’s UA budget for each new user. Brands need to ensure that they engage and interact with their current users and spend as much time getting their attention on the National Day Sale as they do when bringing in new shoppers.
While customer churn is inevitable, e-commerce also performs very well in reattributions. Data from Adjust shows that the number of reattributions for every install globally was 0.072 in Q4 2020 but was as high as 1.22 for e-commerce in the third quarter of the year, which presents another excellent opportunity for e-commerce apps. Pulling churned users back into the fold through retargeting in time with the most important shopping days of the year could prove to be a winning strategy.
Thinking Beyond Mega Sale Days
As Singaporean shoppers anticipate Mega Sale events every year, brands should not miss out on such opportunities to grow their e-commerce app user base. According to reports, 73 % of Singaporean shoppers plan and prepare for high ticket purchases and 88 % are likely to try new brands when shopping during a mega sale event.
App marketers will have to think beyond the sale day and define strategies to keep newly acquired users for the long haul. A personalised retention and engagement strategy should be in place to meet deal-seeking customers where they are – and turn them into loyal shoppers.