Aside from genuinely-huge discounts, augmented reality tech, personalized and entertaining product discovery, and real-time customer interactivity can affect sales: survey mega sales

In a Dec 2021 survey of 18,189 people aged 18 and above about their year-end shopping habits and attitudes during the month of December 2021 period across 12 countries in the Asia Pacific region, five trends were postulated about year-end consumer shopping patterns amid ‘mega sale’ e-commerce events.

The digital shopping habits formed during the then year-long pandemic had continued to be relevant as seen by the equal reliance of respondents on mobile: 67% of year-end shoppers surveyed indicated they discover new products in-store, and 66% indicated they had discovered new products on their mobile phones.

The survey report postulated five new year-end consumer shopping trends in Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam:

  • Mega sale days drive new product discovery and consideration
    • 94% of year-end shoppers surveyed were likely to try a new brand particularly in the following categories: Apparel and Fashion (46%), Food (46%), and Electronics (41%).
    • 66% of all year-end shoppers surveyed indicated they enjoyed discovering relevant items they were not actively looking for. 
  • Mega sales events shift consumer shopping behavior
    • In the APAC countries involved in the survey, mega sales days spanned across the calendar year. 12.12 and 11.11 were the most popular, with 79% and 77% of year-end shoppers surveyed participating respectively.
    • Product category skews were noted: for 12.12, sales were skewed towards preparation for the holiday season—with respondents purchasing Apparel and Fashion (39%) and Health and Beauty (27%). For 11.11, sales were skewed towards Apparel and Fashion (38%) and Food (31%).
  • More Gen Z and Millennials shopping on social platforms
    • 40% of respondents had discovered and shopped on social platforms, with 61% being Gen Z and Millennials.
    • 89% of social shoppers in the survey made a spontaneous discovery while shopping online. They were 1.3x more likely to purchase on mobile compared to non-social shoppers.
    • 67% of social shoppers surveyed purchased a product they had discovered via a personalized ad.
    • 66% of social shoppers surveyed were “most likely” to trust a brand that partners with a trustworthy creator and influencer. 
  • Entertaining and immersive experiences influence purchase decisions
    • 74% of respondents indicated social media was a strong discovery driver through personal connections and recommendations; 66% and 56% respectively had indicated sponsored content and video content as drivers of product discovery.
    • 77% of social shoppers surveyed had watched or were open to a ‘live’-shopping event online.
    • 81% of respondents indicated that augmented reality technologies had a strong influence in their purchase decisions. 
  • Spotlight on cross-border shopping
    • 55% of respondents in the APAC countries involved had made a cross border purchase, with 33% of such respondents starting their shopping earlier (by end November) than regular shoppers.
    • 70% of these cross border shoppers had messaged a business at year-end: the top reason for doing so was: the convenience and instant responses from communicating with a person in real time.
    • 46%, 42% and 41% of these cross border shoppers rated ‘brand values’, ‘ethical/fair trade business practices’ and ‘sustainability’ as particularly important to them.

Said Dan Neary, Vice President (Asia Pacific), Meta, which commissioned the survey: “Brands need to start building for discovery and being part of the consideration set well ahead of Mega Sale Days. Brands also need to meet people where they are.”

The firm is suggesting that brands need to be social- and mobile-first, to create immersive experiences through augmented reality, ‘live’-shopping and ‘trusted creators’, and to find creative ways to communicate brand values and purpose.