Lunar New Year shopping in Asia has moved online: Criteo

To help commerce providers better engage shoppers during the festive Lunar New Year season, commerce marketing technology company Criteo has released seasonal data from 2017.

The company’s deep-dive into shoppers’ online purchasing activities revealed that preparations for the Lunar New Year began right at the start of the year, with online sales showing a general increase from 4 January 2017 onwards and declined five days before the first day of festivities. In line with shopping habits during this season, the fashion and food categories saw a 50% increase in online sales.

The findings are based on analysis of 3.5 million online transactions made on key commerce providers aggregated online platforms — including mobile apps, desktop web and mobile web — in Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam before, during and after Lunar New Year in 2017.

Alban Villani, general manager, South-east Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Criteo, explained: “In the lead up to Lunar New Year, we often see sales increases in certain categories as people shop for new clothes and stock up on festive treats. Increasingly, they are now also making these purchases online, particularly on mobile apps, which means that commerce providers need to focus their digital budgets on the right platforms and at the right time. To reach shoppers who use multiple devices and channels, it requires that the largest possible data sets are employed, and that online and offline data are connected. Criteo’s technology allows commerce providers to engage shoppers with relevant experiences on both apps and third-party platforms, thereby directly driving sales and profits.”

Criteo’s analysis of shopping behaviour in the region also noted that mobile apps saw the biggest sales uplift, compared to desktop and mobile web, and will continue to be an important channel for retailers to engage with shoppers.

The peak shopping period for Lunar New Year last year (which fell on 28 and 29 January) was from 4 to 22 January across all categories, with fashion and food recording the biggest sales uplift. However, from 23 January onwards, Criteo observed there was a negative growth in online sales through Lunar New Year.

“It’s good to see that Lunar New Year traditions such as shopping for clothes and food are still respected, although shoppers are now doing it online. The decline in online sales close to Lunar New Year could signify that people are spending more time with family and friends. It is important for retailers and brands to recognise these trends. With shoppers on online shopping sprees two to three weeks before Lunar New Year, retailers need to start promoting and advertising from three to four weeks in advance to earn their attention. For South-east Asian retailers, this means that they already had to be increasing their online marketing spend across all platforms from as early as mid-January this year,” added Villani.

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