An unmissable event in the world of Chinese e-commerce, Singles’ Day is now spreading beyond China’s borders. This online shopping festival, held every year on the 11th November, is attracting a growing number of online shoppers from around the world looking for good deals.
Although the origin of this tradition is still somewhat unclear, Singles’ Day is now an event that Chinese consumers would not miss for the world. This shopping festival, originally to celebrate singles in China, took a more commercial turn in 2009 when the Chinese e-commerce giants, Alibaba, took advantage of this tradition by launching their first commercial sales operation, Singles’ Day. Today, its so successful that in 2015 Singles’ Day became the biggest shopping event in the world after Black Friday – Alibaba’s marketplace, Tmall.com, generated more than $14 billion in sales in 24 hours.
According to Alibaba, around 30,000 brands from 25 countries have offered sales for Singles’ Day 2015. This shows a real interest, both on the part of consumers, but also retailers who are using this event more and more as an opportunity for promotional offers. This was also discussed by Tony Qiu, General Manager at JD Worldwide, and Betty Touzeau, Country Manager for China at Lengow, at the Lengow Ecommerce Day which was held on September 27th this year.
Mobile also plays a key role in the buying process of Chinese consumers, especially for Singles’ Day: mobile sales accounted for 70% of purchases made on the Alibaba sites in 2015.
Singles Day therefore offers a great opportunity to retailers to boost their business. If you want to sell your products in China, you can use Chinese marketplaces like Tmall Global and JD Worldwide. These allow you to sell in China without having the required license to do so. For foreign retailers, these platforms attract lots of Chinese consumers who are fans of foreign products – ranging from food to cosmetics.
The financial potential of this event also encourages an increasing number of European e-commerce businesses to celebrate 11 November (11.11), including UK brands such as Topshop, who offered 20% off when purchasing 3 items, 30% for 5, and 40% for 8, as well as 50% off on some lines. Marks and Spencer were very successful last year as they sold on Tmall, with their product sales going up 80% from the previous year.
Singles Day being held in early November is a good opportunity to start off the festive period, as other e-commerce events are taking place at the end of this year, such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday (the 26 and 28 November 2016) and Christmas. Singles Day is a great way to respond to the changing buying behavior of consumers who do their Christmas shopping earlier and earlier to spread the costs and take advantage of bargains.