Chinese Singles Day


China is at the forefront of global e-commerce.

Chinese Singles Day is the biggest annual online shopping day, which takes place this month. Expecting to set a new world record for the most spent in a single day online.

11.11 is Singles‘ Day in China, when consumers celebrate their single status and retailers launch deep discounts and exclusive offers online for one day only. Last year shoppers spent in excess of $5.75 billion via Alibaba‘s Taobao and Tmall platforms alone – three times the $1.7 billion revenues taken by US retailers for Cyber Monday and Black Friday.

British retailers with operations in China are being urged to take advantage of Singles‘ Day, which has gained such prominence in the retail calendar that it is now hailed as the world‘s largest online shopping day.

“China will soon overtake the US to become the world‘s biggest online market. Singles‘ Day is an opportunity for British brands selling to consumers in China to get in on the action and raise their profile in the marketplace,” says David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG.

Singles‘ Day is also expected to spread beyond China, as Chinese owned companies expand overseas and introduce the promotion to new markets. This is a growing market. By 2020, China‘s e-commerce market is forecasted to be larger than those of the US, UK, Japan, Germany and France combined. It has the potential to deliver massive future growth for UK retailers suffering from flat-lining sales in Western Europe.

Elsewhere in the world we may well see retailers jump on the bandwagon and introduce Singles‘ Day in their domestic markets, following in the footsteps of Black Friday, which has successfully spread beyond the borders of the States.

The secret to Chinese Singles Day success amongst retailers will come down to understanding the linguistic and cultural differences that attract and convert new customers. With more and more marketplaces cropping up over the landscape it‘s hard to ignore its importance in global e-commerce. But what will drive e-tailers from failure to success will be the innate understanding of each touch point that the consumer interacts with in the buying journey. It‘s these details that will determine a successful market entry and online strategy.

Subcommentary by Joe Doveton – head of conversions at Oban Digital.