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How to maximize your commerce content revenue during Lunar New Year

Posted 1 year ago by Naomi Kono

January 5, 2023 – Bangkok – Lunar New Year is one of the biggest annual festivals for people in South East Asia. It is based on the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar associated with an animal sign according to the Chinese zodiac cycle, which features 12 animal signs. This year’s Zodiac sign is Rabbit and the celebration will start on the eve on 21 January and continue for 7 days. This is traditionally a time for large family gatherings with plenty of local specialties. The color red is used in clothing and decorations to ensure prosperity, and people exchange hongbao, red envelopes filled with lucky cash.

Buying new items is seen as an embodiment of a brand-new start in the new year. In fact, this has been one of the most profitable periods for retailers in a variety of different verticals. Furthermore, Covid-19 restrictions resulted in a further surge in online sales as well as the emergence of new verticals and products, such as takeaway of new year celebration cuisines for a small households. In Skimlinks Network, we saw a significant YoY Publisher commission uplift across multiple markets in 2022.

Lunar New Year opportunities across APAC

In this blog, we will share with you the trends we saw in the Skimlinks network during the event last year and offer actionable takeaways to embrace the year of Rabbit.

Lunar New Year Revenue generation starts weeks before the actual event

We saw two major trends in the Skimlinks network during Lunar New Year last year. First, the shopping mainstream shifted to online more than ever during the pandemic. Our data shows that clicks increased by 40.5% in 2022 and Publisher commission also increased by 26.6% in 2022, compared with 2020 respectively from the articles featuring Lunar New Year. Second, these two metrics started rising from the end of Dec, with the peak 1 week before the actual new year. Towards its peak period, people actively searched for gift ideas, and better deals/offers to complete stressful holiday shopping to be able to celebrate and relax during the actual holiday period. After the 7 days main celebration period, revenue generation continued throughout February, since people were still chasing hot deals related to Lunar New Year.

Lunar New Year Revenue Opportunity

We recommend having new articles ready and Evergreen articles updated by the first week of January. Look to distribute commerce content across the homepage, newsletters, and social channels to maximize impact. Use Skimlinks’ Revenue Source Report to determine your most efficient platforms and drive incremental revenue.

Key Topics and Top performing Lunar New Year articles

Below is a list of top-performing topics from the 2022 Lunar New Year. Remember to include keywords, such as Lunar New Year /農曆新年/deals/discounts in the article titles to make your articles easy to discover. 

  • Staycation
  • Deals Round-Ups
  • Key Brand Sales/ Zodiac design
  • Lunar New Year Gifting ideas
  • Food delivery for home gatherings
  • Home Entertainment

Let’s look in more detail at how top publishers created commerce content around the Lunar New Year in 2022.

New Years’ Eve Restaurant/takeaways recommendation

People in Hong Kong found other ways to celebrate the year of the Tiger when the traditional dine-in at New Year’s Eve dinner was restricted due to the pandemic. Cosmopolitan Hong Kong released an article catered to such growing trends by featuring Lunar New Year takeaways from luxury hotels and restaurants with early bird discounts for families who did not want to lower the quality of menus for the festivities at home.

New Year’s Eve Dinner Promotion 2022|10+ Super High-Quality New Year’s Eve Restaurant/Takeaway Discounts to Welcome the Year of the Tiger!

Cosmompolitan Hong Kong

RED Product reviews

Auspicious “RED” costumes and decorations are must-have items to welcome a prosperous new year. In addition to the Zodiac sign motif, brands often target Lunar New Year to release a new product line featuring RED color. GQ Taiwan had a dedicated article reviewing the upcoming RED Product collection from Apple.

​​Infuse the New Year’s spirit! Apple launches RED Product collection.

GQ Taiwan

Lunar New Year Gifts ideas

In the U.S., The Lunar New Year is also a key holiday season for Asian Communities. Forbes Vetted released an article featuring Lunar New Year Gift Ideas from AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) – Owned businesses to celebrate this culturally important festive season. This is a great commerce content example that shines a spotlight on the social concerns of our time at the right venue and serves shoppers’ aspirations for more conscious purchases. 

The Skimlinks Merchant Search filters enable Publishers to easily discover different types of merchants to feature in their commerce content. The Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) filter helps Publishers identify merchants who sell their products directly to consumers. The Give Back filter shows merchants that contribute to the community either financially or with products in a philanthropic effort – for example by donating or collaborating with charities.

17 Lunar New Year Gifts From AAPI-Owned Businesses To Celebrate The Year Of The Tiger


Diversified retail verticals perform well in Lunar New Year

When it comes to Top-Performing Merchants (Brands) during Lunar New Year, you will be amazed at how diversified their verticals were. Marketplace merchants, such as Shopee, who are strong in essential household and electronics items, performed strongly last year. Online luxury fashion retail platforms, such as FARFETCH, also attracted shoppers with disposable income to spend their winter bonus by offering extensive discounts and new product releases. Another prominent player is Casetify which recorded a YoY 223% increase in Order Value with their Lunar New Year limited edition collection. 

Top-performing Products by Merchants

Game consoles were one of the top-selling products in Shopee for consumers who needed stay-at-home entertainment for their own during quarantine or for their guests for a small gathering in 2022. A black wallet was also one of the best selling items in NET-A-PORTER since renewing it for the Lunar New Year is considered to bring you wealth according to the symbolic tradition. Black represents prosperity and is particularly helpful in spurring career advancement and business fortune. Staycation offers also attracted consumers’ traction during pandemics.

top performing products during the Lunar New Year 2023

RED items/ Zodiac sign motif during Lunar New Year

As RED signifies good fortune, luck, vitality, celebration, and prosperity, brands including luxury Maisons release Lunar New Year limited editions featuring this lucky color. The Zodiac sign is also a popular motif among fashion houses and they released limited edition collections with the Tiger motif in 2022. The following is the list of items that became popular in the Skimlinks Network during the year of Tiger.

RED top sellers
Top Performing Merchants by category

These are the Top Performing Merchants for each vertical whose YoY Average Order Value increased significantly since 2021.  Utilize this table to start thinking about which verticals/merchants to feature for your commerce contents for the Lunar New Year this year.

Top merchants by category

3 steps for Success in this year

To monetize this momentum with your commerce content, there are 3 simple steps we will advise you to be mindful of. First, it is essential to identify the Revenue Generators during the previous Lunar New Year. Performance Report/Comparative Reporting are great tools to understand which merchants and products performed well in 2023. Second, start planning which offers to feature. Check “Merchant’s offers” in Merchant Search in Publisher Hub, Skimlinks Offer sheet, and Newsletter for the latest offers available from merchants. Last, but not least, Monitor the trend during the actual event period with Trending Product Report/ Real-Time Clicks Reports which guide you to determine the articles your audience engaged with the most so that you can update and refresh content in real-time.

3 steps for successful Lunar New Year

As Covid controls continue to ease, consumers continue to shop online in higher numbers than before the pandemic. Moreover, coupled with strong performance in Skimlinks network, we expect that online retail sales during Lunar New Year will be strong in 2023 and a great opportunity to kick start the year of the Rabbit.


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