Harbolnas this year, in sales
Harbolnas this year was the biggest in history, and most retailers we spoke to measure sales and revenue as compared to regular days of the year.
HappyFresh saw sales triple on Harbolnas. Furniture startup Fabelio was able to acquire a lot of new customers, and then saw those customers returning after Harbolnas, which is ideal for eCommerce start-up of their size. Many retailers saw, double, triple, or more in sales compared to an average day.
Veteran Lazada has identified some key trends as far as what people were buying, and how they were buying it this past year. Indonesia CEO & Chief Strategy Office Magnus Ekbom explained what the trends were for shoppers in 2015. Lazada saw that the mobile and tablet category was still one of their most popular, but they began to see customers also buying daily goods. They also saw growth in home appliances, fashion and toys sectors.
Payment using bank transfer is still the most popular payment methods among Indonesians, generally and during the sale. This is followed by similar amount of customer paying using COD and a much smaller percentage using credit card.
Pricing for the sales
Discounts during Harbolnas vary across the board, with some merchants offering 15% off, and other offering up to 90% off (although consumers had reason to be wary of too-good-to-be-true prices, more on that later). Each company chooses what sale strategy works best.
For example, Thomas Diong, Head of Data at Sale Stock, a B2C eCommerce platform, said their strategy was focused more on getting the word out about their company and less on discounts. Their prices are already the very lowest possible and so they focus in on creating awareness as their main goal.
On the other hand, companies like HappyFresh used discounts to get consumers to make an initial purchase on discount with the hope that they return if they’re happy with the service. They offered up to 50% discount during the sale weekend.
Technology for the sale
High traffic in previous years caused several major sites to shut down for a few hours during sales times, leaving frustrated customers and even more frustrated sellers. In trying to avoid it this year, many sites took extra precautions to make sure they were completely prepared.
HappyFresh co-founder and CTO Fajar Budi Prasetyo elaborated on the extensive testing that went into the preparations for the event. "We need to estimate how much traffic we're expecting for the event. And then whatever we come up with, we multiply it by two or three. We do load testing based on the number to make sure that the system can handle the expected traffic. Handling traffic spike is getting easier with the current cloud technology. Overall tech should be a non-issue for Harbolnas."