11.11 Shopping Season! Here’s What You Need To Know
Gone are the days when November used to be a buffer month for our expenses before we officially kickstart the season of giving. With the popularity of online shopping platforms today, a new shopping concept has arisen – 11.11, also known as Singles Day.
While it’s a shopping event that’s been around for quite some time now, it just recently hit the Philippines’ consumer market.
Interesting facts about 11.11
While this shopping festival mostly promotes, well, shopping, there’s more to it than just money-saving shopping deals.
Before we go ahead and help you temper your impulses and save your wallet with some helpful reminders and tips, let’s break down some interesting facts about this phenomenon and how it boomed into the international shopping festival that it is now.
1. 11.11 was all about honoring singlehood
The numbers 11.11 looks like ‘bare sticks’ denoting those who are single. There were several explanations for the creation of the 11.11 Singles Day festival but only one was widely accepted which is rooted in Chinese university dorm culture.
Four male students in China started the ideas after discussing how they can break away from the monotony of singlehood. Part of what they agreed on was to make November 11 a day of celebration to honor singles. What started out as an oath and activity between friends gradually spread to other universities in China and the rest was history.
Unfortunately today, it has lost its Singles Day branding and is now widely known and loved as the Double 11, a shopping festival growing bigger year after year.
2. 11.11 started in 1993 in China and was capitalized by an e-commerce giant
It started in 1993 at Nanjing University in China as a celebration for singles, and who else could successfully capitalize on such a well-meaning event than the region’s biggest and most successful e-commerce company – Alibaba.
Apparently, in 2009, they used the celebration of single-dom as a reason to promote “self-gifting.” How did they do this? By giving discounts and promotions during that day. What started with Aliexpress, soon expanded to include other online retail platforms such as Shopee. What’s remarkable is that even small online businesses are announcing sales and promotions on 11.11. What started out as a one-day shopping event spiraled into a 20-day festival.
While in the Philippines this shopping culture is new, other Southeast Asian countries have been hyping up Singles Day for a few years now.
3. It’s now bigger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday
11.11 is gradually invading western shopping calendars, competing with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It might have started on college campuses in China, but it is going global at an incredible speed. Apart from Southeast ASEAN countries, the target audience for 11.11 also comes from the U.S and Australia.
The climax of the shopping festival was the 11.11 Gala in 2018 that featured Miranda Kerr, Mariah Carey, Cirque du Soleil, and many other pop stars who performed and highlighted 11.11 to further boost the sales. While those celebrities didn’t really help Singles Day break records in 2018 to warrant the festival recognition, it helped market the shopping event in Western countries further.
It wasn’t until last year that 11.11 managed to finally overtake America’s favorite shopping season for one record-breaking feat…
4. It made $1 billion dollars in sales under 2 minutes in 2019
One minute and eight seconds – that’s all it took for the Chinese retail giant Alibaba to garner $1 billion in sales during Singles Day in 2019. In China alone, they closed the festival after 24 hours with $38.4 billion during that single day, which is more than what Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined sales bring in every year.
What to buy on 11.11?
It’s easy to get carried away with the fantastic deals on e-commerce sites, but that could end up with you buying things you don’t actually need. You don’t save money when that happens, you’re just wasting less of it.
What you need is a clear list of what you’re looking to buy. It doesn’t need to be limited to necessities, just that you need to stick to what you really want and resist adding things to your shopping cart on impulse.
1. Electronic items
Laptops, smartphones, cameras, and gaming peripherals are expensive electronic items and they’re not your everyday purchases for such an obvious reason. If you’re in the market to upgrade some of your electronics, 11.11 is a good time to fulfill your shopping checklist for this category.
Many retailers use this as an opportunity to clear out last-generation devices, you know like how they do it on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. However, shopping for electronics can be a bit tricky and you must tread carefully. Only shop for electronics if you’ve already decided on a model that you want to upgrade to. On the fly purchases of electronics may leave you regretting because what might be on sale may not have the features that you want or need.
Do your research beforehand, even a day prior; make a note of what you want and list down one or two other alternatives if in case you don’t find what you’re looking for.
2. Home and lifestyle products
Since it’s Christmas and New Year is also on the horizon, it’s the best time to materialize your home makeover ideas. Not only is it the perfect time to plan for a home improvement project or upgrade, but it’s also less taxing for your wallet.
Home improvement is no cheap feat, it can even cost you a fortune sometimes. With the variety of deals and discounts that will surface on 11.11, you will most likely spend only a fraction of what you would have spent on a regular day for home improvement products, furniture, lighting, and décor on online platforms.
Get your home makeover project going just in time for Christmas and New Year!
3. Gifts bargains for Christmas
Christmas is not far off, and if you want to be efficient with your finances or budget for Christmas, perhaps you might as well just take advantage of the deals in November rather than during Christmas month.
Us Filipinos have so many inaanaks and pamangkins, on top of that we attend one Christmas party after another every December. While that may not be the case now, we’re pretty sure it won’t stop Filipinos from exchanging gifts whenever we get the chance.
In case you got your 13th-month pay this year early, or you just happen to have enough budget to fulfill your manito and manita’s Christmas wishlist early, why not make use of the biggest online sale to stock up on thoughtful gifts for them?
All you need is a list of people you want to gift and the list of gatherings you might have this December. Browse away until you find what you think they would like with less worry about how much it will cost you.
4. Restock your home supplies and groceries
11.11 sale is not just for big-ticket items. You can also take this opportunity to stock up on your household essentials such as food, diapers, masks, and even milk for your baby if you have one.
Baby diapers go on sale during this time. So rush to buy as many as you can because every little bit of savings helps when you’re raising a baby.
Nowadays, e-commerce stores now sell non-perishable foodstuffs such as canned goods and beverages; they’re usually on sale during 11.11 and for good reason. Whether there’s a sale or not, you need these in your house anyway, and if you’re looking to save money in the long haul, it’s a wise move to leverage on sales like these for your daily essentials.
iMoney’s 11.11 savings hack
Prudent spending has always been part of our advocacy, and even during shopping festivals like 11.11 where huge savings are just around the corner, you will always find more ways to trim your spending – you just have to be creative.
Words to live by from Benjamin Franklin, “A small leak can sink a great ship”. So every peso definitely counts!
Here are a few time-tested tips to do that.
1. Set alarms for flash sales
In case you didn’t know yet, flash sales are special deals that offer even more discounts than what is already on offer. As the name suggests, they are usually offered on the spot and will be gone in a flash.
Online stores will rotate their flash sales throughout the day. This means you only have a few hours to take advantage of these even lower prices. Although, you can expect the flash sale items to sell out in mere minutes.
To avoid missing a deal, set an alarm for when the next rotation is set to happen. Online stores will build the hype for the next sale with a countdown on their front page. All you need to do is set your phone alarm to let you know when that happens.
2. Earn back on what you spent by using the right credit card
It’s no secret that owning the right credit card for your shopping needs can be rewarding if used right.
For example, using a cashback or rewards credit card will cut the sting out of a big spending spree. For someone with a handful of pamangkins and inaanaks, you are going to need several birthday gifts by default, which can easily cost you thousands of pesos.
Coupling a suitable cashback credit card with the 11.11 sale can be a very cost-effective option.
Don’t overdo it!
We cannot stress the importance of managing your money carefully in times like these. It’s easy to get carried away buying things and losing track of how much you’ve spent. While it may seem like buying something on a discount is saving money – it’s actually still spending money. So, it might help to think carefully about what you need to buy. We should be smart about how we spend our hard-earned money. Take advantage of cashback and rewards offered by the many credit cards available. It doesn’t hurt to sign up for additional rewards programs like Shopback to double-dip on rewards.
There’s nothing wrong with online retail therapy – as long as you don’t end up in massive amounts of debt.