- ShopFest to act as portal to aggregate the best deals from six major online sales
- As much as RM10 million of cashback to be given back to customers during ShopFest
THEY say the best time to shop is towards the year end as there are multiple online sales from September to December that offer attractive deals. However, the challenge is keeping track of when they occur and finding good deals from the multitude of online retailers.
Online cashback platform ShopBack has stepped up to the task and announced its inaugural ShopFest. The year-end shopping festival is aimed at helping consumers navigate the many year-end sales in Q4 and help them make smarter purchasing decisions.
“This is the first year that we are organising ShopFest. We hope that through this platform, consumers will have an easier time finding deals that they want and can shop smarter,” said ShopBack Malaysia co-founder Sharmeen Looi.
All in all, there are six major online year-end sales, namely, #MYCYBERSALE, 9.9 Reward Day (previously known as 9.9 Cashback Day), 11.11 Single’s Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, 12.12 Online Fever and the usual Year-End Christmas and New Year Sale.
“Last year, 12.12 Online Fever emerged as the top online sale during the period though we are hoping that with the launch of ShopFest, all other major sales events will get increased attention,” said Looi.
Crucial year-end period
During the launch of ShopFest, ShopBack invited leaders from popular e-commerce companies to share their insights on the online retail landscape in Q4.
Among the panel of speakers were 11street general manager of communications Judy Wong, Zalora Malaysia marketing director Kiriat Argenio, Traveloka Malaysia & Singapore general manager Hanif Hamzah and Expedia Asia head of brand marketing for Southeast Asia Agnes Eng.
Across the board, most of the players agreed that Q4 is an important period to them, as it is the period when customers tend to shop for items for the festivities and it is also the time when people take advantage of the long holiday period to travel.
11street’s Wong noted that the online portal has seen more demand in health & beauty products followed by kids and baby, fashion and electronics. But there has also been an uptake in e-vouchers that customers use to buy travel products, making it one of the top selling items during the quarter.
Zalora’s Argenio agreed that Q4 is crucial for them as site traffic goes up by four to five times compared to other quarters and conversions are much higher.
But where do people tend to holiday during the period? Well, Traveloka’s Halif said the majority of Southeast Asians, as much as 70%, tend to travel within the region. However, during the year end, many extend their scope of travel to North Asia and Europe.
Expedia’s Eng believes that ShopFest will act as a great platform to allow the online travel booking site to reach out to more customers in Malaysia.
“Collectively, promoting our offerings as a group will make us stronger and better this coming Q4. We also see huge orders coming up as young millennials like to travel on short notice.
Zalora echoes Expedia’s sentiment, agreeing that ShopFest would enable customers to search for great deals more easily and avoid confusion as well as waste of conversions during the period.
Effect of the SST
On the question of the effect of the new Sales and Service Tax (SST), which is set to take effect come September just as the sales start, the entire panel agreed that though there may be some initial impact from the new tax, it won’t be permanent. Most, if not all of them have put in place campaigns and promotions to counteract any negative effect of the new tax.
In a similar fashion, the tax holiday, that occurred after the abolishment of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on June 1, did not have a major impact on online sales. ShopBack’s Looi noted that there was a spike in sales after GST but it quickly normalised and it was business as usual.
Zalora, Expedia, 11street and Traveloka all said that the tax holiday had minimal impact on their sales during the period.
Looi ended the panel session by saying, “We are confident that ShopFest will efficiently connect both e-trailers and consumers specifically for the year-end when consumers are prepared to spend.
“Our collective efforts will amplify the awareness and e-commerce performance, surpassing the 10 times increase in average hourly traffic we achieved during the 11.11 Single’s Day last year.”
A time for deals and treats
Starting from Sept 1, there will be online as well as on-ground activation for ShopFest powered by ShopBack and supportive e-trailers. ShopBack plans to give close to RM10 million cashback during ShopFest.
The online cashback platform has partnered with over 500 e-trailers to provide up to 30% cashback for consumers.
Approximately 30 leading e-trailers such as 11street, Lazada, Expedia, Booking.com and many others will be participating, offering a top up for super cashback offer (up to 90%).
Consumers that visit the ShopFest page will be greeted by a calendar that encompasses all six major sales. Here they will be led to a compilation of curated promotions and cashback provided by e-retailers spanning categories including fashion, beauty, travel, groceries, dining and home & living, sports.
ShopFest will be launched in seven countries with Malaysia being the first stop followed by the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan and Australia.
Consumers who want to access the information on major sales event can visit the portal for more information (www.shopfest.my)
To date, ShopBack has over one million users in Malaysia and the amount of cashback rewarded has exceeded RM25 million.
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