[This is a sponsored article with Lazada.]
If you’re an avid online shopper, chances are that numbers like “3.3” or “7.7” have significant meaning for you. Most recently, 6.6 would’ve been dominating our ecommerce apps.
As the ecommerce industry matured, these previously regular dates evolved to become special ones for various online shopping platforms to hold lucrative flash sales.
11.11, or Singles’ Day, is probably the current most popular date in ecommerce history.
Maybe it was because those dates are catchy and stick easier in people’s minds, but if so, then how did 618 become a thing?
For those unaware, 618, which falls on June 18 every year, could be considered the second biggest shopping festival in China (and maybe the world) after 11.11.
However, it still lacks awareness in Malaysia, so ahead of the upcoming 618 celebration, Lazada tasked us with sharing the festival’s origin story.
It began with four single men
To understand 618, we must start with 11.11, which can be traced back to 1993.
It’s worth noting that there are several variations of the story, but a widely-accepted narrative is that the idea started with four single, male students of Nanjing University.
As a cynical response to traditional couple-centric celebrations (like Valentine’s Day), the men thought, why not have a day of events and activities in the name of singledom?
November 11 was chosen as the ideal date because its four 1’s (11.11) when written represented the four single men.
Their idea became a hit, and the activities of the celebration soon spread through the university and into wider society. In later years, the popularity of social media further boosted the date’s relevance in contemporary Chinese culture.
In 2009, Alibaba’s CEO Daniel Zhang decided to use the day as a 24-hour shopping holiday festival in China.
This marked the very first 11.11 event, with just 27 merchants and a bunch of shopping discounts on its Tmall.com platform.
Fast forward to 2014, and 11.11 went global to the tune of 27,000 participating merchants.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
Seeing the success of the first 11.11 event, a competitor platform, JD.com (founded on June 18) kicked off its own shopping festival in China too.
And thus, the shopping festival would come to be known as 618.
Becoming a date of its own
The first 618 festival was launched in 2010 to the sound of success, and over the years, it became immensely popular throughout China across different retailers and platforms. It even went on to rival Black Friday sales volumes in the US.
During 618, discounts and promotions in the form of vouchers and free shipping offers are a common sight. With the growing trend of livestream selling and shopping, platforms have also begun doing livestream giveaways.
Track records of shopping festivals have shown that we just can’t get enough of a good deal.
It’s why the major ecommerce platforms in China have sold billions of dollars’ worth of goods year after year during 618.
Even with the economic uncertainty in the past few years, over US$97 billion worth of goods were sold during 618 in 2022.
A day to maximise your spending
So that Malaysians can enjoy the great deals of 618 too, Lazada Malaysia will be kicking off its 618 Global Shopping Day, this Sunday, June 18, 2023.
Available only for 24 hours, the one-day affair will give Malaysians the opportunity to shop for deals from countries like China, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, and Thailand, at low prices.
There will also be Brand Mega Offers from international names such as Skechers Global, Grafen, Merythod, Laifen Official, Tjean Official, Life Space, and many more.
Shoppers can enjoy:
- Seller vouchers offering RM8 off purchases RM80 and above
- Platform vouchers offering extra 10% off
- Exclusive e-wallet vouchers, where users who pay with Touch ‘n Go eWallet get 10% off with a minimum spend of RM10
- Free shipping vouchers with purchases of RM8 and above
East Malaysians can benefit from Lazada’s 618 Global Shopping Day too, with vouchers offering:
- RM10 off with purchase of RM100 and above
- RM15 off shipping with purchase of RM80 and above
- RM10 off for new users
Malaysians who have products from Lazada’s Taobao Collection on their wishlist can also keep an eye out for free shipping from up to 60 stores, and 10% off selected sellers with a minimum spend starting from RM19.
Did you know: Lazada’s Taobao Collection is where buyers can purchase items from Taobao directly within Lazada’s app.
There will also be interactive shoppertainment activities to look out for, as Lazada will be hosting two livestream giveaway sessions on June 18, at 12.30PM-2PM and at 3PM-5PM.
Shoppers who tune in can enjoy special price drops and discounts, as well as be able to win other prizes and vouchers.
If the 618 festivals in China are any indication of the date’s future potential in Malaysia, local online shoppers definitely have more to look forward to.
Featured Image Credit: Freepik / Lazada Malaysia