Singles Day: The World’s Biggest E-Commerce Event Is Coming

27 September, 2023

Marketplaces Helen de Souza By ChannelAdvisor

It seems there are multiple holidays honouring love, couples and families. But what about the single person? In China, Singles Day isn’t just a celebration — it’s a major shopping event.

Legend has it that Singles Day, originally called Bachelor’s Day, was started by four single, male students at China’s Nanjing University in 1993 in response to Valentine’s Day. The holiday falls on 11 November because the date 11.11 looks like four “sticks” or single individuals standing together. 

Today, the holiday is synonymous with shopping, similar to Black Friday. It became a major e-commerce season in China when Alibaba offered deep discounts to celebrate the holiday in 2009. Though Alibaba didn’t report its 2022 Singles Day earnings, analysts estimated sales were around $201 billion AUD (or 934 billion yuan), making it the biggest shopping event in the world.  

Thinking About Joining the Singles Day Craze? 

Singles Day is certainly not exclusive to Chinese brands. Over time, it has gained popularity in surrounding countries throughout the APAC region. In recent years, it’s also made its way westward, especially among US brands popular with Chinese consumers, including Brooklinen, Saks Fifth Avenue and Ann Taylor. Following suit from its Chinese and Southeast Asian communities, brands and retailers in the UK have also started to take part. 

Considering adding your brand to the excitement? There are a number of reasons to join in:

  • Singles Day shoppers are traditionally big spenders with an affinity for luxury items in apparel, beauty, electronics and home goods. 
  • They also appreciate imported brands, as sales for names like Nike, L’Oreal, The North Face and Estée Lauder passed the $13.8 million USD (or $21 million AUD) mark on Tmall during last year’s event. 
  • Though Alibaba is the holiday’s biggest promoter, more shoppers are seeking out new channels. In 2022, 69% of consumers said they would shop Singles Day sales across three or more platforms, up 56% from the previous year.

It’s important to keep your audience in mind, especially with international selling. Singles Day brands and shoppers are increasingly focused on:

  • Sustainability. In 2021, Alibaba placed special emphasis on sustainability, highlighting energy-efficient products and providing incentives for shoppers to make purchases that support an environmentally friendly lifestyle. Alibaba also opened recycling stations to address excess packaging. 
  • Early bird marketing. If you choose to participate, start promoting your Singles Day offers and deals at least a month before the big day. This not only helps build excitement, but begins clearing inventory at the start of the holiday season (instead of leaving it to the end). 
  • Livestream content. Singles Day features a large volume of livestream content, as shoppers want to engage with sellers and celebrities to ask questions in real time. In past years, content like a metaverse-themed art exhibition and symphony drove engagement and brand awareness, as shoppers could purchase items featured in the performances. 
  • Mobile. Thinking of selling? Ensure your e-commerce site is easily accessible via mobile, as over half of all 2022 sales in APAC (excluding Japan) came from mobile commerce. A smooth mobile experience is not only convenient for shoppers, but encourages longer site browsing and increased sales.

ChannelAdvisor Preps You for E-Commerce’s Biggest Event

Selling to over 900 million consumers around the globe requires more than a few fancy marketing campaigns. There’s content to plan, assortments to curate, product data to check, fulfilment to set up and much, much more. But the complexities of global selling shouldn’t keep you from participating in e-commerce’s biggest annual event.

ChannelAdvisor, a CommerceHub company, provides an automated platform through which you can streamline your e-commerce operations, expand to new channels and grow sales. We’ve helped thousands of companies around the world optimise selling strategies, maximise ad spend and ensure positive customer experiences with intuitive technology and expert guidance. This Singles Day, partner with ChannelAdvisor to join in the global excitement and make a lasting connection with fans around the world.

Talk with one of our e-commerce experts today or schedule a demo to see ChannelAdvisor in action. 

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