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Insights & Events
19 October, 2017
Held every year on November 11, Singles’ Day serves as an occasion to celebrate being single. It was initially celebrated at various universities in Nanjing during the 90’s. The concept slowly began to spread beyond its founding province and capture the nation’s imagination. In 2009, eCommerce giant, Alibaba, launched its first Singles’ Day sale and a shopping phenomenon was born.
Seven years on and 2016 Singles’ Day saw Chinese consumers spending USD$17.8 billion in 24 hours and now Alibaba wants to spread the ‘China phenomenon’ to the rest of the world.
Alibaba CEO, Daniel Zhang Yong said, “[Singles’ Day] will not only be a shopping festival for Chinese, but it will attract more foreigners to participate because commerce is a borderless world.” This movement presents both an opportunity for international brands to gain exposure with the Chinese market, whilst simultaneously allowing Chinese brands to tap into the international market.
Other eCommerce companies are also upping the ante by expanding the selections of overseas products to Chinese consumers. Amazon.com Inc said it will increase its selections of products in the Amazon Global store and JD.com Inc said its shopping festival will cover more than 200 countries and regions this Singles’ Day.
Alibaba has said that this year for the first time, Tmall is bringing 100 Chinese brands overseas, whilst making 60,000 international brands available to 500 million Chinese consumers through their platform.
It’s not just Alibaba and Amazon cashing in on Singles’ Day. Australian company, Chemist Warehouse reported they processed over AUD$25 million in orders in just 24 hours during last year’s event.
UK retail chain, Topshop, saw a 900% increase in sales between Singles’ Day 2014 and Singles’ Day 2015. “These results clearly indicate how impactful this online calendar moment has become, and as a key focus market for the brand we see 11.11 as a great way to raise brand awareness and conversion in China,” said a Topshop spokesperson.
Alibaba reported that 82% of purchases were made on mobile phones during Singles’ Day 2016, demonstrating huge potential for e-commerce apps. Recent IAB findings support Alibaba’s experience, reporting the number of consumers shopping on mobile in China is 33% greater than that in the US. With Chinese mobile shoppers also tending to spend more money and shop on mobile more frequently.