In the West, mega sale days (MSD) shopping festivals often occur during Christmas or Black Friday. In Asia, it was associated with the 11.11 Singles Day, until the explosion of other MSDs such as 9.9, 10.10, and 12.12. 

In 2012, the e-commerce platform, Lazada was among the first to launch its MSD in Southeast Asia and now runs year-round campaigns, said Moony Li, head of marketing solutions at Lazada Group.

The shift in the way people discover products and consume content has led to huge implications on MSDs, according to a Facebook yearly survey about holiday shopping behaviors. Aside from a rising number of people who shop during MSD, there is also a geographical broadening.

In 2020, 55% of year-end shoppers in APAC made at least one cross-border purchase during the season. The survey also revealed that 48% of consumers are likely to buy if the business is contactable through messaging. 

Mega Sale Days ​have evolved from transactional shopping ​to an experiential ​event and festival. In the past 18 months, Meta’s strategic communications planning lead APAC, Carlos Palacios observed that 26% of APAC shoppers made an unexpected discovery during a live shopping event during Mega Sale Days. While 35% would like to see interactive games or giveaways as part of the experience. Palacios also noted the year-on-year growth in interactions between influencers and shoppers around the 9.9 shopping festival in 2020.

Nathalie Pellegrini, chief performance officer of Mindshare APAC says they regularly pilot new strategies to look for ways to maximize growth. Pellegrini reveals a significant shift in looking at e-commerce as a full-funnel to build new audiences and buyers. Li observes that a rising number of brands are aiming to provide their consumers with a more holistic experience through the Lazada platform. 

While the focus is on shopping festivals, consumers aren’t just buying during MSDs. Digitally-savvy consumers are buying whatever they want whenever they need it. As such, marketers need to balance MSD with always-on campaigns. Understanding their respective importance but also their differences is key to ensuring full-funnel success, said Jolene Sim, director of MOB Digital Media.