A Look at the 11.11 Festival and the Latest Shifts in Indonesian Consumer Behaviour Trends

November 26, 2021

In the past years, November 11 (11.11) is regarded as one of Indonesia’s most anticipated days. Countless tempting bargains were made available across several online marketplaces in a span of 24 hours, all of which were quickly snapped up by eager shoppers across various product categories.

Even though now Indonesians are accustomed to a series of monthly double date campaigns, November 11 was in fact the first date that paved the way for this tradition to take root regionally. 

Originally coined as a cynical response by single men to the smothering celebration of Valentine’s Day, the date 11.11, or November 11, has been associated with Singles Day in China for many years. The date—11.11—was chosen as it is written as four ones, or singles. However, since the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba launched 11.11 as a festival and turned it into a series of lucrative events in 2009 that attracted consumers to shop, the concept has evolved.1

Singles Day has grown into a massive shopping frenzy, not just for Alibaba, but for a slew of other e-commerce companies, offering steep discounts and promotions of their own that last for a few days or even a couple of weeks. Besides China, Lazada, Alibaba’s Southeast Asia subsidiary, is now extending the practice beyond the country’s borders, such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia. 

As a result of Singles Day, Alibaba’s Year-on-Year revenue climbed by 8.4%. JD, another Chinese e-commerce player, also reported a 28.6% gain in total gross merchandise volume over 2020.2 Although this year’s growth trend was considered as the lowest since it first commenced in 2009, Singles Day is still believed to have succeeded in overtaking Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined, which had long held the record in the United States.3 This also reaffirms the promise of China’s e-commerce, as well as their expertise in exerting influence on a global scale.

Key Takeaways from 2021’s 11.11 Festival

Although offline stores in Indonesia have begun to operate at a limited capacity, people continue to rely on online marketplaces to meet their demands. Numerous e-commerce platforms in Indonesia have attempted to ride on the momentum by adapting the Singles Day concept to their target users, albeit with extra effort, given the pandemic situation. Apart from seeking profit, there appears to be increasing support for sellers and brands, as 28% of digital merchants in Indonesia state that they are extremely reliant on the existence of digital platforms to thrive amidst these unprecedented times.4

According to SIRCLO’s internal data, the three major categories with the largest amount of purchases during this year’s 11.11 Festival were Beauty, Fashion, and Personal Care. Although this year’s 11.11 Festival takes place on a weekday, most consumers spent their time shopping during the first hour from midnight. The growth in transaction volume then slowed, surged around lunchtime, and continued to increase after office hours. This is in line with a claim pertaining to Shopee’s latest release, which indicates that 11 million products were successfully sold within the first five minutes of the festival day.5

Shopping enthusiasm among consumers is also reflected in the majority of trends that continue to grow during the 11.11 Festival. For example, the volume of items sold increased by greater than half of the previous year. Likewise, the number of new consumers has spiralled upward by 38% year over year.

By examining the sequence of numbers that stipulate Indonesians’ interest in the 11.11 Festival, it is apparent that the country’s digital consumer base is rising. According to Google’s most recent research, 72% of 21 million new digital consumers in Indonesia reside in non-metro areas.

This insight is consistent with SIRCLO’s findings, indicating that the demand from consumers based outside of Java and Bali continues to spike. Although it varies over time, the number of users has climbed by 47% in a year with an average basket size of 32% bigger than those who live in Java and Bali. To summarize, it demonstrates that the transaction growth and greater reliance on e-commerce to cover people’s basic needs has evenly spread across the nation.

Indicators for Choosing The ‘Right’ Online Marketplace Sellers

Along with a variety of compelling programs offered by several platforms to retain their users, it is foreseeable that consumers have unique criteria when it comes to selecting the right marketplace that suits their preferences. Reported from SIRCLO and Katadata Insight Center’s latest research, 85.2% of respondents admitted to shop online in more than one marketplace, demonstrating that consumers are not entirely reliant on a single platform per se.6

Consumers are able to opt from a wide variety of sellers through marketplace channels, including Malls, Official Stores, Star Sellers, and local or international merchants. According to the data, 47.6% favor to transact in Malls and Official Stores, compared to Star Sellers and Power Merchants respectively.

One of the consumers’ primary considerations in choosing sellers is whether the store has been officially verified by the marketplace.7 This explains why consumers’ preferred online shopping destinations have shifted towards e-commerce Malls and Official Stores, as it is important for them to purchase from sellers that possess brand distributorship or online selling rights. The other most notable aspect to be evaluated when selecting the right seller is through their performance record, indicated by positive reviews, and followed by the offered price. 

All in all, brands must engage in activities that enable them to be in touch with consumers while also staying informed about current trends. The Internet is at the heart of consumer-driven marketing, providing critical information, evaluations, and recommendations, including those related to momentous occasions, for example, 11.11 Festival and suchlike, which sellers can utilise to increase transaction volume and gain consumers’ trust by attracting positive reviews.

As a company that supports digital transformation for both SMEs and enterprises, SIRCLO always strives to help our partners to leverage their scale by seizing emerging trends as an opportunity to be in the right place and the right time. SIRCLO is able to serve each brand’s needs to reach their objectives accordingly, one of which is through SIRCLO Commerce.

By delivering end-to-end multichannel management services, SIRCLO Commerce enables brands and sellers to maximise their online distribution networks. Business owners of all sizes are able to synchronise their sales across multiple marketplaces, hone their inventory management for e-commerce channels, manage orders efficiently, and obtain seamless logistics and delivery support. Among the list of advantages, SIRCLO Commerce also assists in marketing and promotional activities to boost awareness of the brand on e-commerce platforms, on top of strategising growth through personalised data analytics. Altogether, this may help them optimise sales on online shopping seasons or relevant occasions and enticing more people to buy.

For more information about SIRCLO Commerce’s services and portfolio, click here.

Download SIRCLO’s 2021 E-Commerce Report in collaboration with Katadata Insight Center here


SIRCLO neither provides regulated advice nor guarantee results. The materials we convey reflect general insight and best practice based on information currently available, and do not contain all of the information needed to determine a future course of action. Such information has not been generated or independently verified by SIRCLO and is inherently uncertain and subject to change. SIRCLO has no obligation to update these materials and makes no representation or warranty and expressly disclaims any liability with respect thereto.