Bubblegum jingles have invaded prime-time television since late October. In an adapted version of the hit “Chegui”, the singer Ludmila boasts of coupons, promotions, free shipping and all kinds of benefits for anyone who decides to take a look at the Shopee app this Saturday (11).
This isn’t just any date. It’s “11.11”, Double Eleven or Singles Day, one of the biggest attractions on the global retail calendar. The marketing strategy comes in the form of a double promotion: as well as promoting the brand, it also helps to cement the day of offers in the imagination of the Brazilian consumer, who is already accustomed to November’s Black Friday promotions.
Two other Asian e-commerce giants, Shein and AliExpress, are also preparing for the most aggressive promotion day of the calendar. Together the three will make R$34 million worth of coupons available two weeks before Black Friday, scheduled for the 24th.
Proximity is not by chance. Double Eleven – initially created by Chinese university students to celebrate loneliness, without any commercial appeal – became an Asian version of the traditional North American sale in 2009, driven by promotional actions by Alibaba Group, owner of AliExpress.
Since then, Singles Day has become a retail phenomenon driven by China, owner of the world’s largest consumer market. Sales totaled more than US$156 billion last year, according to analytics company Xingyun Data.
However, it only began to gain momentum after Asian ecommerce became popular among Brazilians. Year after year, promotional activities increase to attract customers to what is now called “Black Friday Warmth”, one of several possible names for the date.
“Double Eleven matches the strategy that all retailers have adopted: in anticipation of Black Friday”, says Daniela Eiger, retail director of XP.
“Over the past year, many of them have invested in Black November, which is delivering promotions throughout the month. I believe this will help Double Eleven get here.”
This is the idea. For example, Shopee predicts that 11.11 will be the hottest day of 2023. According to Felipe Piringer, the company’s marketing director, although it does not disclose concrete numbers, sales are expected to increase compared to last year.
“We expect very aggressive growth this month of November, which will be driven by Double Eleven as well as Black Friday,” he told Folha. “They are similar-sized campaigns. On Black Friday, R$8 million worth of coupons will be given out that day; Double Eleven, R$10 million.”
Shein will be giving away R$11 million worth of coupons on Singles Day and R$11 million worth of coupons on Black Friday. Marketing director Raquel Arruda said, “We also created the 11.11 phrase with the coupon. Asian markets are increasingly favoring this date, which has become a constant on the Brazilian calendar.”
AliExpress will receive a rebate of R$13 million, the largest investment ever in the company’s history in Brazil.
Consumers should pay attention to the new taxation rules on international purchases over US$50. A survey by Promobit, a platform specializing in price monitoring, shows that only 19% of respondents will buy on Double Eleven, compared to 25% last year. Of those who will not take advantage of date promotions, 23% say it is because of import taxes.
In Promobit’s analysis, this is a reaction to Remesa Conform, implemented since September. The program promotes exemption from import taxes on international purchases up to US$50 (R$245 at the current exchange rate) and provides faster customs clearance.
In Remesa conform, consumers pay 17% ICMS (tax on circulation of goods and services), which is state-level.
“In practice, this encourages consumption. Remesa Controlle makes the import process simpler and more transparent, so that product delivery is much faster,” says Luiz Guanaise, consumer and retail analyst at BTG Pactual.
“But it may have a psychological effect there. The program began to regulate imports that were entering Brazil without paying taxes. Even though the rate was reset to zero, the ICMS is still in place and “For products that were not taxed before, this means a higher tax burden.”
This helps explain the aggressive liquidation of Asian markets as a way to win back customers lost since last year. For consumers, especially those who plan to spend less than R$245 on the promotion dates, the discount may be worth it.
See tips for each platform:
- Products will be up to 70% off, as well as free shipping coupons for purchases over R$10
- The company is preparing a “marathon” of lives. On Shopee’s official profile, the best offers of the day across all categories will be broadcast for 12 hours
- Apart from the electronics sector, the largest sales flow is expected for decoration, women’s fashion and health and beauty categories.
- In the marketplace here, over 90% of Shopee sellers are Brazilian – meaning, Remesa compliance does not enter the account. Still, it’s worth paying extra attention to avoid pitfalls.
- In cases of returns, the consumer has up to seven days from the date of receipt of the purchase to request a refund on the Shopee app. In most cases, the company bears the cost of the procedure. But, if an incorrect or defective product was sent, the seller pays.
- According to marketing director Raquel Arruda, Shein’s most targeted categories will be women’s tops, jeans and underwear. In addition to the R$11 million in coupons, the brand will offer promotions sequentially over the next few days
- Up to 80% discount will be available on products from 11th to 19th. From 20 to 23, 85%. On Black Friday (24), 90%. Additionally, there will be 48 hours of free shipping between November 23rd and 24th
- In terms of taxation, Remesa Conform rules apply: purchases up to US$50 are exempt from federal import taxes. Shein subsidizes a portion of ICMS fees for consumers
- In case of returns, the customer has up to 20 days from the date of receipt to return the item to Shein. There are two methods of shipping: one through the post office, using a prepaid return label, and the other is paid by the customer themselves.
- With prepaid return labels, the consumer is not charged for the first shipment. However, if he later decides to return another item from the same order, he will be charged a fee of R$45, which will be deducted from the refund.
- In the second case, the customer chooses the logistics company to make the return and bears the shipping cost.
- In addition to promotions for selected items at Alibaba Group’s eCommerce branch, there will be coupons and discounts of up to 70% across all categories: for every US$30 (R$147) spent, the customer earns a US$3 (R$15) rebate.
- AliExpress also promises delivery within ten business days and an additional 20% discount in the “Choice” category, a product curation service with the best cost-benefit on the platform.
- Another new feature for Double Eleven is the “Share and Earn” program, which allows users to share products with friends and family. If they make a purchase, the customer earns up to 15% of the amount they paid in the app’s wallet balance
- In terms of taxation, Remesa conformal rules also come into play.
- In case of returns, the customer has 15 days after receiving the product. Some sellers offer free returns, and consumers can use this policy as an in-app purchase filter