With Singles’ Day just around the corner, UK brands could be missing out as research from Rakuten Marketing has revealed that three quarters (74%) of UK marketers are missing out on global opportunities because they are too focused on the local market.

This could be a huge loss for brands as last year’s Singles’ Day saw online shoppers from 225 countries and regions spend more than $25 billion across Alibaba’s platforms, which is more than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. However, just 13% of UK marketers are focused on the China-led sales day.

Interestingly, nearly two-thirds of UK marketers believe their target customers outside of the UK are wealthier (62%), younger (64%) and more digitally savvy (71%). This sentiment is higher amongst marketers targeting the Asia-Pacific region, where 82% confirm that they see their customer base in the region as ‘premium buyers.’

“In Britain alone, as many as 35% of transactions driven for Rakuten Marketing clients are now taking place overseas. Marketing teams must start focusing on these demographics and carrying out thorough research into local consumer behaviour and trends to inform campaigns,” commented Anthony Capano, managing director of Europe.

Reaching Customers in APAC

If marketers wish to reach customers in the Chinese market, they must embrace seasonal peaks and rethink the platforms they use, such as WeChat and microblogging website Weibo.

To participate in Singles’ Day, James Coggles, director of client partnerships UK/AU at Dealmoon, said that “brands need a compelling offer to entice these savvy shoppers” as they react extremely well to “spend-and-save tiered promotions, and lucrative ‘gift with purchase’ twinned with free shipping.”

Rakuten’s research report found that just 11% of marketers say they have local marketing teams in overseas markets able to carry the responsibility for the international roll-out campaigns.

“Fortunately our research also shows APAC shoppers are actually far more likely to visit the brand site itself as part of the online journey than their western counterparts, allowing teams the opportunity to start small, measure and evolve their strategy. Instead of shying from the international stage, it’s time for UK marketers to invest in seasonal marketing campaigns and Singles’ Day is no exception. It will prove highly rewarding for early movers,” Capano concluded.