Are You Missing out on the Massive Revenue Potential of China’s Singles Day?

October 8, 2019

Marketplaces Amelia Erskine By Amelia Erskine

Looking for a new way to get ahead of the competition this peak season?
No doubt you’re already making plans for Black Friday and Cyber Monday as their popularity with UK shoppers grows. Last year it was estimated that consumers spent an average of £300 snapping up seasonal offers.

And yet, that still pales in comparison to what happened a few weeks before.

On 11th November 2018, known in China as Singles Day, marketplace giant Alibaba recorded $30.8 billion in gross merchandise volume. Sellers reached the accumulative $10 billion mark within an astounding 60 minutes.

Now that’s a shopping holiday to participate in.

In case you haven’t heard, China’s Singles Day is no longer just for Chinese retailers. More than 40% of last year’s Singles Day shoppers purchased products from international brands.

So if you haven’t yet tapped into the massive revenue potential of the world’s largest shopping holiday, it’s time to incorporate a promotional plan for Singles Day into your seasonal strategy.

Remind Me: What Is Singles Day?

Started by students in China, Singles Day was established in the 1990s as a way to celebrate singledom on the symbolic date of 11/11. It was the anti-Valentine’s Day, complete with exchanges of small gifts.

As Singles Day grew in popularity, Alibaba capitalised on the day’s potential by trademarking the name and turning it into an online discount shopping event. What started in 2009 with just 27 participating marketplace merchants has exploded to tens of thousands of sellers promoting items across a vast range of categories: In 2018, the number of participating Singles Day sellers exceeded 180,000.

Why Should I Participate in Singles Day?

Singles Day offers a mountain of revenue potential for UK-based sellers. Here’s why:

  • China is by far the world’s largest e-commerce market, with annual sales approaching $1.99 trillion. More than 35% of China’s retail sales occur online, by far the highest rate in the world.
  • Singles Day shoppers have proven to be big spenders who tend toward high-end purchases — particularly in categories such as apparel, beauty, electronics and home goods.
  • Chinese shoppers have long shown an affinity for imported products, as evidenced by the fact that Apple, Nike, Kindle and Gap are among the most popular brands shoppers buy from on Singles Day each year.

How Do I Capitalise on Singles Day?

Like many of today’s cross-border trade opportunities, selling products internationally to Chinese shoppers may be a lot easier than you think. Why? Because many marketplaces are offering global selling programs that remove the mystery from customer service, returns and other time-consuming logistics.

Ready to start selling to Singles Day shoppers? Whether you’re looking to reach more purchase-ready consumers in China or are ready to take your e-commerce business fully global, ChannelAdvisor is here to help. Get in touch today to learn how we can help transform your product feed into an international powerhouse of profits.

Editor’s note: This blog post was last updated on October 8, 2018. It has been further updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.