Shopping frenzy and cut-price sales are common during mega sale events or shopping festivals, with over 80% of online users in Hong Kong having shopped on mega sale days around Christmas (56%) and Singles’ Day 11.11(46%).

However, local consumers seem to have started experiencing shopping festival fatigue over the years, with more than two in three surveyed shoppers saying they feel tired about the increasing number of shopping festivals, according to the latest Meta ’s report.  Around 85% of them feel that shopping festival promotions have become less attractive in recent years, the report revealed.

The report also revealed that nearly eight out of ten of surveyed customers said they will add their desired products into the shopping cart and wait for sales promotions to place orders. Most surveyed shoppers however still stay loyal, with 87% saying that they will give higher priority to familiar brands during shopping festivals, yet on the flip side, they still remain curious as 80% also indicated that during promotions, they are willing to try brands they don’t usually buy. 

Power of performance based marketing

While many conversations that have been around performance marketing are now taking the limelight away from creativity, performance-driven marketers nowadays also need to do more to draw conversion, especially since the consumption time spent is getting increasingly fragmented, said Wilson Wong, marketing director of

Wong pointed out that preference-based promotions and customised promotional discounts are common marketing strategies with the aim of minimising wastage so as to improve efficiency such as cost per sale. “An image with a price tag could have worked in the past but is no longer sufficient to attract eyeballs on the battlefield," he said. Consumers can opt to both physically or mentally "skip" standard promotional messages. Thus, marketers need to keep exploring new avenues of excitement to increase communication impact - be it through videos, KOLs or live streaming.

Promotions and advertising messages can be overwhelming for consumers, particularly during festivals, and the competition among brands to win consumers' attention can get even more fierce, added Alex Law, marketing director at foodpanda Hong Kong. "While there is a fine line between being effective and being overbearing, the secret sauce remains the same which is where brands have to make their messages relevant for their target audiences in order to stand out from the crowd," Law added. 

Law also shared that preference-based promotion and customised promotional discounts are key aspects of the marketing strategy at foodpanda, such as the burger month campaign. "With this approach, it allows our platform to engage and learn more about the behaviour and preference of our users and niche audiences."

Meanwhile, Ronald Wong, vice president of brand, social and digital marketing at yuu, said: “It’s in marketers and retailers’ DNA to seize every festive season to maximise sales. A loyalty programme like yuu Rewards Club is no exception as we are always tempted to create more offers for our members.” However, Wong said he has learned that ‘less is more’ is especially true for getting customers engaged.

Engaging the fatigued customer

While festive periods always have an overwhelming push towards purchase, they don't necessarily need to do so, said Wong. “Experiences fare very well when we’re talking about engaging fatigued customers,” he added.

"We also found that customers respond really well to customer social responsibility (CSR) messages during these times. We decided to dedicate this Mid-Autumn Festival to our CSR campaign – ‘A Full Moon of Blessings’ in partnership with Foodlink Foundation. It encourages our members to use their yuu points to redeem and donate mooncakes, and also redeem traditional paper lantern crafting workshops, as a way to support Foodlink’s cause,” Ronald Wong added.

Ronald Wong also said that yuu has learnt that customers do respond better when they learn that the deals they’ve received are truly exclusive to them and not to all customers.

We’ve been ‘grooming’ our members to check out the ‘Best Deals’ section in the yuu app regularly, which personalises offers for them. So what they see are attractive deals that are relevant to their daily lives and retailers can also come up with better offers as the they are only for a finite group of relevant customers," he added.

In order to increase the chance of success of short-term activations and campaigns, foodpanda's Law said that brands should adopt a clearly defined segmentation strategy to identify the right messaging for different segments of target audience.

"This leads us back to the preparation before holiday seasons. As Meta stated in its latest report, brand love is the key to success that vast majority of consumers prefer brands they are familiar with. That said, brands have to maintain regular engagement with its customers during non-festive seasons and fully understand their preferences and behaviours in order to drive brand love and increase brand salience," Law added. 

To better prepare campaigns for holiday seasons, marketers may need to stick back with the basic marketing principle - understand what customers really want, said’s Wong.

Does your customer really want a gift or premium products? If they don't, forget about it. Online shopping is an emotional behavior.

“Sometimes what customers need is just a reason to buy only, so smart marketers are good at creating good reasons to buy for customers," he added. 

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