Uniqlo: Hijacking the Largest Shopping Festival in the World


Campaign Summary

Uniqlo was the first brand to cross the 100 million RMB mark on Single's Day in less than one minute. To do this, Uniqlo utilized Alibaba's huge third-party platform's traffic to Uniqlo's own offline platform: their 500 stores. As a Chinese multinational conglomerate specializing in e-commerce, retail, Internet, AI and technology, Alibaba’s influence is vast.

Single's Day, the one-day shopping extravaganza on e-commerce giant Alibaba, is the biggest shopping event globally. Started as an obscure anti-Valentine celebration, now Single's Day revenue is twice the total of Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday together in the U.S.

It is the most important day for many retail brands in the whole year. For many brands, the day makes up for more than half of the total sales in the year.


Objective and Context:

How Uniqlo did drive traffic to its offline stores on the biggest e-commerce day?

First, while the Alibaba ecosystem drives huge volumes, it's hugely competitive and cluttered. The antithesis of the preferred Uniqlo experience. Second, Single's Day consumers in particular are bargain hunters primarily. Thin margins combined with high customer acquisition costs inside Alibaba ecosystem.

Third, owning the direct customer relationship is essential to Uniqlo, and in the retailer’s offline stores are able to deliver a truly value-added customer experience. 

By combining both offline and online purchase data, Uniqlo was able to identify multiple methods to bring Uniqlo's Alibaba shoppers to their offline stores.

Target Audience:

Uniqlo targeted consumers who identify as single as a way to celebrate individuality. 

Creative Strategy:

The strategy was three-fold:

  • Analyze which product lines consumers buy offline.
  • Identify all online shoppers that had added items to their shopping carts, but not yet completed a purchase. Consumers were then offered offline coupons.
  • Providing additional in store services.

Uniqlo combined years of consumer insights of Single's Day shopping, category understand, location data and purchase behavior of this Single's Day, segmented consumers and pushed relevant messages and creatives to different audiences, all to maximize traffic to the 500 stores Uniqlo has all over China.


Overall Campaign Execution:

Uniqlo analyzed past years' Single's Day performances to understand which categories are least likely to be purchased online: high price, low discount items, such as down jackets and vests, were added to carts but dropped off. The company also analyzed sales data, identifying the top selling categories and product lines in-store for Uniqlo.

As a result, Uniqlo identified five top product lines to target. The company designed unique creatives featuring different product lines, offering coupons and put "lower in-store prices." Then, Uniqlo targeted these messages to all consumers with these five product lines in shopping cart this Single's Day, and those who have browsed similar offerings from competitors. If the consumers were close to Uniqlo stores, the coupon value was even higher to provide a bigger incentive for consumers to visit. In store, the company provided value-added services such as smart shop assistants, alternate service and speed checkout.

Mobile Execution:

Uniqlo used mobile Commerce, mobile LBS technology, and mobile social to promote its coupons.

Results (including context, evaluation, and market impact)

Traffic to Uniqlo stores this year rose 10 times more than last year during Single's Day. Not only that, each Single's Day order was 34 percent higher than the online orders.

Categories: Location-Based Services or Targeting | Industries: Retail, Apparel, Footwear | Objectives: Location-Based Services or Targeting | Awards: Silver Global Winner