Double 11 campaign techniques & how to get ready

Tingyi Chen New WeChat features

It’s the final 5-days countdown before this year’s Double 11, the biggest e-commerce festival in China. The Chinese e-commerce space is maturing faster and this brings out some new highlights for this year:

  • Alibaba’s campaigns are more focused on gamification & social sharing
  • More complicated campaign/coupon rules
  • Purchasing coupons instead of adding to cart
  • WeChat is becoming another major channel for e-commerce purchase

Taobao’s 1 billion red envelope campaign

Taobao’s main campaign this year is focused on a 1 billion RMB giveaway of red envelopes. Users have to gain points in order to be able to claim part of the 1 billion RMB. Here are 3 ways you can gain points to redeem for red envelopes:

Inviting friends to join your team

The biggest highlight of this years Taobao Double 11 is its leverage of social sharing. You can invite friends to join a team in order to gain more points.

The more “team members” you have, the more likely you could get part of the 1 billion RMB red envelope.

Many users shared these messages on WeChat groups and enabled Alibaba to piggyback on the power of WeChat to create some excitement about the upcoming Double 11.

Browsing Tmall stores to earn points 

You can get 10 points for each of the selected brand’s Tmall store you visit. For every 100 points, you can redeem 1 RMB, limited to 50 points per day (thus encouraging users to re-engage with the App every day in order to maximize value)

This campaign brings traffic to the brand’s Tmall store. While browsing the promotion deals of each brand, it encourages users to add more products to their carts in preparation for 11/11 discounts.

Visiting other Apps in the Alibaba ecosystem 

Users can also collect points by visiting other Apps that are invested by Alibaba.

Here is a list of the Apps in the Alibaba ecosystem that joined this Double 11 points collection campaign:

In each App, there is an in-App game that users can play in order to get points. Most of the reward system encourages users to click around within the Apps, and complete some tasks. For example, for Xianyu, a second-hand exchange platform, you can earn 60 points by posting one of your used items.

These games encourage users to discover and use the Apps as they collect points.

Brands’ Double 11 promotion methods

Other than the major Taobao promotion, each brand also runs its own promotions. Here are a few techniques brands use to encourage spending.

The before & after price

A clearly announced discount price to encourage users to make a purchase on the day of the Double 11.

Nestle clearly shows how the price will change on the day of Double 11. This gives customers a strong incentive to add the product to the cart and wait until Double 11 to make a purchase.

Nike also shows the Double 11 price side-by-side with the current price in order to encourage users to add products to their cart.


Gifts to encourage users to buy at 12:00am on November 11th

Timing is very important. Brands want to be on the top of customers shopping cart to maximize purchasing rate, and therefore encourage users to make a purchase on Double 11 as early as possible.

For example, 3M will give out free air masks and cleaning supplies to the first 5,000 customers. If users make the purchase during the first 1 minute, they can also enjoy a 50% discount on selected products.

Purchasing coupons for a small amount 

Many brands encourage users to purchase a discount coupon before the shopping festival. The coupon is usually priced at a low price of around 1 RMB. Users will value the coupon a lot more if they purchased it, even at a very low price.

Purchasing of a coupon is a much stronger indicator of the users’ interest than simply adding products to cart. This also helps brands to better determine the anticipated sales volume and prepare for Double 11.

Here is an example of a 100 RMB coupon users can purchase for 0.01 RMB. The coupon can only be redeemed during the Double 11 day.

What about WeChat?

Since the introducing of Mini Program shop, WeChat is becoming a more important part of the Single’s Day shopping craze. The biggest difference between WeChat and Tmall/Taobao is that brands are in control of your own promotion campaign. Brands can decide when to start the campaign, can drive traffic through their own following or KOLs, and WeChat does not push brands to reach a Double 11 quota.

This makes it important for brands to have Single’s Day promotion before the 11th.

For example, our client Botkier ran its promotion a week before the Single’s Day. It’s much easier to catch customers attention during this time, while still offering attractive discounts and leveraging the 11/11 craze.


Promotion campaigns are becoming more complicated and social-orientated this year. Pre-sale events, early promotions, and first come first serve gifts are good techniques to encourage users to make a purchase as early as possible.

As the market matures, the growth of Double 11 sales volume will no doubt slow down this year. Instead of focusing on sales figures, brands should also focus on providing a fun e-shopping experience and opportunities for social engagements.

Elevate your China Marketing with AI-Driven Analytics and Creativity. Let’s Talk.