11 November 2021

Channel New Asia: Businesses expecting another record-breaking 11.11, but buyers may face delivery delays

SINGAPORE: In anticipation of another record-breaking Singles’ Day sale, e-commerce and logistics players have ramped up manpower, opened new warehouses and secured additional cargo space.

But shoppers may still see delays for their online orders this year due to factors such as the ongoing pandemic-induced bottlenecks in global supply chains, some industry players warned.

Singles’ Day, held on Nov 11 each year, started off as China’s biggest online shopping holiday before gaining traction around the world, including in Singapore.

Data analysed by advertising firm Criteo showed Singapore’s retail sales for the annual shopping bonanza spiked nearly 350 per cent in a day last year despite being held in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic and an economic recession.

“Though we’re approaching Singles’ Day for the second time during the pandemic this year, our data suggests that 11.11 will continue to be one of the most popular sales festivals in Singapore,” said Criteo’s managing director for Southeast Asia and India Taranjeet Singh.


Businesses that CNA spoke to expect to see the feat repeated again this year, with online shopping habits becoming more deeply entrenched among buyers.

For one, e-commerce platform Lazada said 2020 was a “watershed year” due to the pandemic, which has set a precedent for the years to come.

“E-commerce adoption accelerated since the start of 2020 and we have witnessed soaring demand for sales in the past 20 months, as people developed and became accustomed to new shopping habits.

“We are optimistic that this (year’s) 11.11 will shatter records again, with a continued upward trend during the gifting season,” said James Chang, chief executive officer of Lazada Singapore.

Even with the flurry of monthly “double day” sales such as 9.9 and 10.10, Singles’ Day remains the “highlight campaign” for e-commerce platforms which will likely be doling out the year’s most extensive deals, said Ninja Van’s Singapore country head Ray Chou.

“As long as you continue to make deals attractive, I’m sure consumers will continue to spend,” he added.

The logistics firm is hence preparing for parcel volumes to triple from last year, translating into “anywhere between 200,000 to 300,000” deliveries a day.

Other logistics players echoed similar expectations.

J&T Express Singapore has seen double-digit growth on Singles’ Day over the past two years and this year “will be no different”, said its chief executive officer Andrew Sim.

Over at UrbanFox, parcel deliveries during the sale have in the past gone up “three to four times the volume of a regular ‘business as usual’ day”.

This year, the firm is “anticipating significantly higher volumes than usual” as online shoppers continue to grow in numbers and more brands set up digital shopfronts and deliveries amid the pandemic, said managing director Joe Choa.


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