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CHINA`S GLOBAL SHOPPING FESTIVAL: SINGLES’ DAY

27 October 2015

WHAT IS SINGLES’ DAY?

Singles’ Day is the largest online shopping day in the world! Invented and hosted by China’s online retail giant Alibaba Group, Singles’ Day has evolved into a global shopping holiday, which is held on 11th November every year…think 11.11 representing singletons.

Although Singles’ Day is a relatively new arrival on the retail scene, this one-day shopping festival has already exceeded the sales volumes of other such lucrative online shopping events, including ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’.

With Alibaba’s online sales having surpassed $9.3bn in just 24 hours on 11th November 2014, Singles’ Day became one of the most profitable manufactured holidays worldwide as well as the biggest global shopping day in history.

HOW DID ALIBABA’S SINGLES’ DAY COME TO LIFE?

Singles’ Day, or Bachelors’ Day, was initially started by students at various universities in Nanjing, China during the 1990s. On Singles’ Day, they could celebrate their ‘single’ status, as a way to counteract the feeling of being left out from couple-focused events such as Valentine’s Day.

The holiday was given the name ‘Singles’ Day’ because it is celebrated on the 11th of November – a date that consists of four ‘ones’ (11.11).

The day really started to take off as an online retail event in 2009, when the Alibaba Group introduced special 24-hour sales; this gave shoppers an insatiable desire to buy in the shape of huge, time-limited discounts.

Since then, Singles’ Day sales have been growing at an astonishing pace! Last year, Alibaba reported a whopping 5,740% growth rate from 2009 to 2013, and a 60% increase on 2013’s $5.8bn.

HOW ARE ALIBABA GEARING UP FOR THIS YEAR’S SINGLES’ DAY?

This year, it will be the seventh time Alibaba will host their global shopping event and, as usual, it begins at midnight on 11th November.

2015 Singles’ Day is expected to feature over six million products from more than 40,000 merchants and 30,000 brands, including 5,000 overseas brands from 25 countries and regions, such as the US, Europe, Japan and South Korea.

Although Singles’ Day sales mainly take place on Alibaba’s branded products retail site Tmall and the Taobao online marketplace, this time around, China’s retail giant is gearing for a new omni-channel approach to its sales strategy.

Alibaba plans to stimulate cross-channel retailing, by enabling consumers to access products, services, delivery options and membership benefits not only online, but also at the physical stores of the participating brands.

Alibaba’s strategic move is widely considered as a well thought out attempt of engaging international brands with China, highlighting the growing potential of doing business in the country.

The Chinese Ecommerce Landscape

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