SHANGHAI: Brands, including Mondelez and Moleskine, are using a huge influx of new Chinese customers on Singles Day to fuel their data and CRM marketing efforts through the rest of the year.

With US$630bn gross merchandising value recorded last year, China is the world's largest e-commerce market. And Singles Day, the world's largest single e-commerce event, has become a cash cow for brands – now they want to use the influx of new customer data the day brings to boost sales all year long.

For premium notebook brand Moleskine, brand building and loyalty strategy in China is long-term, localized and integrates social, retail and e-commerce into a unified experience. Singles Day is just one part of the strategy. (For more, read Warc's report: Beyond Singles Day: Driving e-commerce with data and CRM in China.)

"We do three things: build our community, turn them into recurring customers and deploy our CRM platform," explained Andreas Mantovani, Head of Digital & eCommerce at Moleskine Greater China.

"Singles Day creates a huge database of customers and we must retarget and re-communicate with them."

But managing expectations around discounts on Singles Day is an ongoing battle.

Dennis Dong, Head of eCommerce at Mondelez Greater China, said: "With Singles Day, there is always an expectation of growth, but also the intent to control price discounting which affects profitability."

Mondelez deployed a tiered approach on its TMall store, offering discounts on its best-selling Oreos but also offering gift packs which gave its customers a reason to buy beyond discounts. By creating a different product for Singles Day, they believed that consumers would care for more than just low price.

"There are other elements of the marketing mix which come into play during Singles Day," said Dong. "We use the opportunity to test new ideas. It's like a pressure test for logistics and supply chain. Meeting such high demand can really uplift the team's capability."

Data sourced from Warc