Singles Day promotion guide: graphic design, promotion method and live streaming

Tingyi Chen WeChat guides & tips, WeChat news

We are only a month away from the biggest online shopping festival of the world, November 11th, AKA Singles Day. Forget about the Chinese National Holiday, it’s time to plan for Single’s Day.

This day was redefined as the “Chinese Black Friday” by Alibaba in 2012, and it evolved into a massive shopping festival growing year after year.  Last year on Tmall alone, the online sales revenue during Single’s Day reached 91.2 billion RMB. Among which, a couple of world record were created for most items sold within 24 hours:

  • 64 million kg of apples
  • 26 million kg of honey
  • 12 million litters of milk
  • 56 million kg of nuts
  • 64 million TVs
  • 13 million phones
  • 11 million watches
  • 6 million cars

Data source:

China's ecommerce festival Single's DayYou get the idea. Chinese consumers go nuts for hot deals on that day.

As a foreign brand on WeChat, how can you make the most of the Singles Day?


To a lot of Westerners, Chinese design might seem a bit cluttered and unorganized, with a lot of promotion activities blinking in your face.  This kind of design is “busy” and creates a strong feeling of urgency.

Take a look at the homepage design from the biggest marketplaces during Single’s Day 2015.


Notice that most websites choose to have a banner across the top of the page to display the biggest deal of the day.  Below the banners are a couple of categories that take users to category specific promotion page.  Also make sure to include the bestseller items on the homepage and take consumers to the direct purchase page.

Here is a wireframe of the typical layout of a Single’s Day promotion page:


Combine multiple promotion methods

  1. Flash-sales

Flash sales are one of the basic promotion methods merchants can use for WeChat shops.  You could have different types of flash-sale throughout the week of Singles day with different promotion deals. You can announce the promotion deal through a WeChat article and lead users to the flash sale landing page.



Although flash sales have mostly become mainstream through the success of Xiaomi (which sold 14 million units of the Xiaomi 5 last march), it is also possible for SME’s to leverage it. You can check out WalktheChat’s e-commerce template, which includes a flash sales feature 🙂

2. Group buying

Group buying is a perfect example of leveraging the social aspect of WeChat for promotion. Users are able to get a discount price if they share the group buy deal and ask their friends to buy the product with them. The following WeChat account is specialized in Group buying deals, users can buy fruits for only half of the regular price if they can find 2 other friends to buy with them.


Some merchants take group buying to its extreme limit:  you can buy a product for only 1RMB as part of a 100 people group. This kind of group buying aims at driving customers to the shop by providing products way below cost.  As it is getting harder to get WeChat followers, using discounts to drive traffic could be a good way to reach out to new customers through existing customer’s personal network.

3. Limited edition

If your products are very commoditized, limited edition would be the best way to increase re-purchase of your product.   For example, cosmetics, food and beverage products are great to have limited edition for Singles Day. Below is CocaCola’s Single’s Day limited edition bottle.

cocacola singles day

4. Pre-sales

If there is one thing that’s different from last year, it would be the development of pre-sales.  We expect to sell a lot more pre-sales activities before the Singles Day. This year Tmall will start its 10-day pre-sale event on November 1st, 2016. As a WeChat shop merchant, you should also target this time frame to start your Singles Day promotion with pre-sale.

A lot of merchants use pre-sales to drive users’ attention. Once users are on the site, they can see the pre-sale price with a bit of discount. Usually the discount is less than the promotion for the Single’s day sale.  It’s a good idea to attract user’s attention beforehand, and build expectation.

Other promotion methods including: one-day free shipping, affiliate programs, membership credit, WeChat group promotions.

5. Live Stream

Live stream is engaging, emotional, provides instant feedback and if used well, can drive a lot of impulse purchase. One of a good way to use live stream is to find an internet celebrity(网红) and ask for endorsement during the live stream show.

Maybelline collaborated with Angelababy and 50 other internet celebrities to live stream the backstage of doing makeup for a fashion show. It sold 8,000 products during the live stream.

Some companies also moved their product launch to live stream.  Xiaomi launched its drone through a dozen of live streaming apps.  The audience on Sina live stream platform reached 1 million simultaneous viewers.

Taobao Waimai, a food delivery App, had a campaign to live stream 100 foodies eating delivered food for 96 hours.  7 million users watched the live stream on Taobao live stream platform, and daily active user on Taobao Waimai tripled during the campaign.

Taobao live stream Singles day


As a wise man said, it’s never too early to prepare for Single’s Day sale. It is a Chinese holiday, and it is therefore important to follow Chinese rules when trying to attract customers: in terms of design, promotions and overall structure. Do this, and it might be the best day of your year.

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