Lessons from Indonesia’s 10.10 Shopping Festival & Preparing for the Next Harbolnas

October 27, 2020

October marks another month of e-commerce marketplace festivities that are often met with enthusiastic fanfare from the Indonesian market since 20161; the 10:10 Festival. Last month, stakeholders of the thriving e-commerce industry had given a lot of earnestness during the 9.9 Festival, observable through over twofold increase of both quantity of orders as well as transaction value. While varying e-commerce platforms will surely not cease the fruitful tactics associated with the festivities, the real question is: “Are the consumers still shopping online?” In this article, we’ve compiled various of our findings ⏤ both from internal and external sources ⏤ to bring business owners up to speed and win big during the online festive season of the year. As an e-commerce solution company helping brands sell online through the 3 e-commerce pillars (website, marketplace, chat commerce), we’ve also laid out some tactics that would come in handy for your business in achieving more for the upcoming Harbolnas (Hari Belanja Online Nasional): 11.11 and 12.12. 

10.10 Festival Overview

Despite being the second festival in the fourth quarter and this pandemic, the people’s online shopping interest is still intact during the 10.10 Festival. According to SIRCLO’s internal data, consistently with the 9.9 Festival, the consumers were still seeking for Personal Care products and Household Goods, respectively. Another high performing product category from this year’s 10.10 Festival was Food & Beverages. Following the festival, Blibli as one of the participating marketplaces reported their data findings that are able to further illustrate our own. Their Groceries (similar to Household Goods) category showed the highest demand surge during the 10.10 Festival, signifying a fivefold increase in comparison to their daily demands. Their Health and Beauty (similar to Personal Care) category was also among the most sought after as its order surge grew sevenfold compared to its YTD figures.2 Furthermore, history seems to repeat itself as SIRCLO’s internal data indicates that this year’s category rank is similarly last year’s rank as well. Back in 2019, Food & Beverage ranked first highest, Personal Care followed after, and finally Household Goods.

The involvement of consumers outside of the Java and Bali provinces during the 10.10 Festival is also one worth noting for. While a high demand was noticeable in West Sulawesi, Central Sulawesi, and Bengkulu during last month’s festival, the Sumatran area specifically North Sumatera, South Sumatera, and Lampung showed the most demands during the 10.10 Festival, reported from SIRCLO’s findings. Compared to last year’s demand, our data discovers that the demand from areas outside of the Java and Bali provinces as a whole reached a fivefold increase. All in all, the growth of e-commerce usage in Indonesia is likely to continue spiking higher while also becoming more evenly distributed. 

A spike in demand through “experiential e-commerce”

When the clock struck midnight (00:00) and the date turned to double numbers, it has been common for marketplaces to hold a flash sale on their platforms as a way to ‘cut the ribbon’ and commence the merriment. The last hour (23:00) is usually also celebrated with another flash sale to wrap up the day. SIRCLO’s internal data revealed that during these two hours of intensified product price cuts, the demand surged notably. Shopee as the pioneer of 10.10 Festival3 has declared their plan to continue flash sale and other correlating strategies on their platform as it has proven to be fairly effective in attracting new users.4 A research conducted by Markplus during July to September also revealed that most consumers opt for Shopee and Tokopedia when online shopping mainly because of the promotions that are often offered.5 Therefore, price cuts are faithfully the main driving forces behind the consumers’ buying decisions, making it one of the most persistent trends in e-commerce.

While promotions get new users coming, a variety of interactive initiatives by marketplaces have been keeping them around. Playing to their strengths of being contactless and mobile, e-commerce has been optimizing their platforms to create an enjoyable and rich customer experience. Santitarn Sathirathai, SEA Group’s Chief Economist refers to the phenomenon as “experiential e-commerce”; where the shopping behaviour has changed from just browsing through products to one where it’s similar to the way people go to malls.6 Marketplaces have approached this theme through diverse methods, ranging from an in-app live streaming feature for stores to a beauty cam that’s powered with Augmented Reality (AR) for consumers to digitally try on a product.7 These highly interactive features offer business owners ready-to-use means for the consumers to experience brands in new ways. 

Strategies that can come in handy

In a marketplace filled with abundant features, constant promotions, and over tenths of thousands of sellers, brands need to be conscious and proactive in reaching the ever-growing number of consumers. Here are a few tricks you can have up your sleeves for the upcoming online shopping festivals: 

1. Investing in building awareness

Building awareness has always been a fundamental step for marketing strategies. Before making purchases, consumers need to know that your brand exists. Therefore, when the needs for your product arise, your brand will enter the consumers’ consideration set in finding the product they’re looking for.8 Especially with the many distractions that consumers face through their smartphone screen, your brand needs to be able to capture their attention right off the bat. There are many ways to achieve that and each one is prone to bring its own unique results.

If business owners are willing to allocate a certain budget, paid ads that are already strategically planned out by the respective platforms can give the brand a significant exposure. For instance, brands can spend a certain amount of money to get their banners shown on the front page of marketplace platforms and become one of the first pieces of information that consumers interact with before they start browsing. Apart from working with external parties, brands can still build awareness by relying on internal efforts, such as offering SKU clearance discounts to lure the consumers in visiting the store.

2. Making every strategy unique to each sales channel

There are a couple things that can be taken into account when taking this step. Firstly, each sales channel has its own pool of consumers, ranging in demography and behavior. To effectively reach consumers on each platform, brands can take advantage of the diversity by determining different strategies unique to each audience group. For instance, if the majority of consumers browsing through marketplace X is women, then the brand can put more focus on giving promotions or creating content that resonates more with women. In other words, it would be like speaking in the same language with your consumers.

Secondly, come up with strategies to ramp up the online store’s analytics. When reviewing the analytics data, there are three main aspects to give a closer look to; traffic, basket size, and conversion rate. The performance may vary from time to time depending on certain factors, but brands can always shift their focus periodically towards the aspects that are in need of a boost. To tackle the low performance, strategies such as store-wide flash sale could potentially lure consumers to visit your store and spend more than usual.

3. Product bundling to push for bulk purchase 

Having many products being bought off the (virtual) shelves is truly one of the sights to see for business owners everywhere. In making it happen, one of the strategies that brands can consider implementing is product bundling. Business owners need to also be mindful of the products that are offered in bundles to be able to hit two birds with one stone. Psychological relations between products can increase the likelihood of the bundle to be bought, such as pairing up kitchen utilities that complement each other. When consumers can see the correlating advantages they can get from the combination, the value of the product bundle can increase from the customers’ perspective.

4. Collaborating with high-demand products or brands 

The most sought after products among consumers are constantly changing over time, but when it’s in the stage of high demand, people will be interested to grab it. Business owners need to stay updated of the rising trends and be open to collaborate with other brands that are popular among consumers. Strategic collaborations as such will not only allow the brand to expand their target market, but also bring additional value to the brand itself. Specifically in this pandemic where the health concerns are still urgent wherever we go, it could be a strategic move for brands to consider collaborating with products that fall under the needs of today’s consumers, without having to shift their business directions.

5. Rewarding consumers with meaningful gimmicks

Apart from initiating collaborations with other popular brands, consider options that can be given as gifts/gimmicks to bring forth a different offer to your consumers. It’s inevitable - people like free gifts! Using a similar rule of thumb in mind, find gimmicks that are among the most sought after products that can intrigue consumers to choose your brand while shopping. Another trick that could be beneficial would be to find gimmicks that are not specifically in relation to your said product, but will be used in the same setting with your product. Here’s an example; your product is one that is used when leaving the house, hence the gimmick could be something from a different category of products that are also used when leaving the house. The connection between the two can give a unique value to your product and the brand’s intention itself.

SIRCLO believes that every brand, platform, and customer journey is unique. Every business differs from another, hence identifying the needs as well as goals prior to taking actions becomes an essential step to take. Over the years, this has become among the urgency for  SIRCLO to keep innovating and bringing forth our vast range of e-commerce solutions; ready-to-use webstore templates by SIRCLO Store, end-to-end multichannel services to sell on marketplaces by SIRCLO Commerce and SIRCLO Connexi, chat commerce dashboard that’s integrated with WhatsApp Business API called SIRCLO Chat, omnichannel e-commerce platform from SWIFT by SIRCLO, and tailored e-commerce development services from ICUBE by SIRCLO. When serving brands who are looking to penetrate the online distribution channels, we advise them to evaluate their business model, specify their target market thoroughly, and finally consider opting for the solution that can keep them moving forward towards their goals. When a brand is mindful about what they do, the sky-high goals can become more reachable.

All the best of luck to business owners everywhere aiming to survive and grow during this long pandemic! As you seize more opportunities in the upcoming festivals, SIRCLO can be your trusted end-to-end e-commerce solution. Click here to find out more about us. 


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.