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Lunar New Year 2022: Key Engagement Strategies

WGSN | January 27, 2022

As Lunar New Year traditions go digital, consumers will crave engaging experiences close to home amid travel restrictions. Experiential activations in key urban areas will help boost brand presence. A huge part of celebrating the new year is the concept of starting afresh. The festival is now a key promotional period for people to shop deals and discounts right across Asia.

In China’s sophisticated e-commerce market, festival shopping is now adopting social commerce methods, creating a one-stop social experience to help consumers discover, buy and share products online. With convenience in mind for the homebound consumer, Singapore-based Cart is a newly launched mobile shopping app that partners with local supermarket and fresh food sellers. The app launched its first CNY Specials campaign running from January 20 - 26, which highlighted ready-to-cook dishes and festive snacks, as well as cleaning products and party essentials for the Lunar New Year dinner, with same-day delivery for orders made before 10am.

This new shift in Lunar New Year retail is largely driven by younger consumers who are looking to make major purchasing decisions for the whole family. A growing segment of Millennial and Gen Z consumers are overtaking their parents’ generations when it comes to making purchases for Lunar New Year, according to Alibaba’s 2021 Spring Festival Consumer Report. Market opportunities will shift to the development of products and services that will help streamline preparations for celebrating the new year, such as readymade Lunar New Year meal kits, and vacuum robots to help with the spring cleaning that is symbolic of driving away bad luck from the previous year for a fresh start.

For those Asia markets that celebrate the festival, Lunar New Year is one of the biggest gifting seasons. Since the pandemic, the gifting boom has largely shifted online. Brands and retailers looking to tap into this boom need to ensure they are making upstream investments to offer new conveniences and supercharge last-mile deliveries throughout the holiday period. Many younger Chinese consumers are also taking the Lunar New Year as an opportunity to show their sense of duty in taking care of ageing parents, by purchasing smart home appliances and health-related devices as new year gifts. This trend has been growing YoY, as many consumers are unable to travel and be with their families.

Creativity is becoming a key tool for brands and retailers to connect with consumers during the festival, adding value through product offerings and messaging that lean into local culture. A hyperlocal approach is emerging for Lunar New Year, where brands and retailers are getting involved with the local creative community by tapping homegrown artists and designers to collaborate with and resonate cultural. Being playful is also an element less explored for the Lunar New Year – presenting brands with a strategic opportunity to stand out. Look to past common Chinese zodiac motifs, and consider how traditional elements can be redesigned and presented with a modern and playful twist. Look to Singapore-based fashion brand Love, Bonito, which launched a limited-edition mahjong set that is pastel-colored and engraved with smileys.

#WGSN #lunarnewyear #traditions

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