Singles’ Day might not be known by everyone in the UK, but the fact is that it's getting more and more popular every year. In the last few years, we've talked a lot about Black Friday and Cyber Monday. With good reason: they have been two of the biggest shopping days in the world, especially in the US and across Europe. However, Singles’ Day has been on the rise. Should your business take part?
Singles' Day is a holiday that started in China in the 90s. As you might have guessed, it began as a kind of anti-Valentine’s Day. Cleverly, Singles’ Day takes place on November 11th (11.11) because the date, when written numerically, is only comprised of the number "one".
This relatively new tradition sees single people treat themselves to gifts. Over the years, it has become so popular that social gatherings and events take place on this day (often to meet people). It has also become a popular day for weddings!
The biggest sign of its popularity is the fact that… wait for it… it is the biggest shopping day in the world.
Yes, you’ve read that correctly. Singles’ Day is the biggest shopping day in the world. Let's have a look at some statistics that support this:
In this section, let's have a look at some of the most telling statistics regarding Singles' Day.
First, let's look at how well the famous marketplace, Alibaba, has done on Singles' Day:
The famous brand, Alibaba, has helped make Singles’ Day what it is today: the world’s biggest shopping day. Sales took its biggest jump in 2020, but continued to rise in 2021 (Source: Statista)
These numbers back up the fact that Singles' Day, at least on a global scale, is bigger than Black Friday or Cyber Monday. In fact, according to Techcrunch, it is 2.5 times larger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined!
Hold on; there's more! Alibaba didn't only make lots of money on Singles' Day. They also took in an insane amount of orders:
Alibaba took in about 2.32 billion orders in a single 24-hour span in 2020. That 24-hour span was on Singles' Day! (Source: Statista)
You might be saying to yourself "That's all well and good in China, but no one knows about this holiday here." Well, it might not rival Christmas in terms of recognition, but Europeans are definitely becoming more and more aware of the holiday as well:
As of 2020, consumer awareness in Europe is getting higher and higher (Source: Statista)
As you can see, the holiday is actually relatively well-known for being somewhat "new". This is particularly true in the UK, Germany, France and the Netherlands.
We can even look at some specific stats for some European countries. In the UK, for example, we saw a value of sales of £1.52 billion in 2020 and an estimated £1.72 billion in 2021:
British online shops saw tremendous sales numbers on Singles' Day in 2020 (Source: Statista)
In France, things look similar, especially when it comes to online sales. In the French market, we saw nearly £900 million worth of sales on Singles' Day:
French online shops saw some impressive sales numbers on Singles' Day in 2020
Recommended reading: Discovery & Trust: a Survey of UK Online Shoppers
The Chinese have been celebrating this holiday online as their version of Black Friday. Although the holiday hasn’t quite reached the same level of mainstream status in the UK and across Europe, it has been growing in popularity... rapidly. Thanks to Alibaba’s global success, we’ve seen this holiday sale become more prevalent around the world in the last few years.
Alibaba isn’t the only brand benefiting from the holiday. JD.com has also reported major profits in the last few years. British brand ASOS has been participating as well. Doing a quick Google search will reveal that there are many websites dedicated to sharing the different Singles’ Day sales out there.
Source: shutterstock.com/Roman Samborskyi
As Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become immensely popular in the last few years, you may have noticed that some brands are trying to get one step ahead. In the last few years, plenty of brands ran pre-Black Friday or “Countdown to Black Friday” sales.
Because Singles’ Day takes place in early November, it seems like the perfect time to get a jump start on your Christmas sales, especially as the “new” holiday grows in popularity every year.
So, now that you realise the sales potential of Singles' Day, you must be asking yourself what do next. Let's have a look at some marketing ideas for this increasingly popular sales day.
This might sound obvious, but it’s important to remember that consumers are looking for deals on this day. Although it’s meant to celebrate singlehood, the biggest allure of this holiday is really the shopping deals out there.
Quick note: Singles’ Day falls on the same day every year (11 November), but some holidays across Europe fall on different days depending on the country (e.g. Mother’s Day). If your shop sells internationally, make sure your online shop is prepared for all of them by downloading our whitepaper:
There are a number of ways to go when it comes to this holiday sale:
Although we did just say that the primary appeal of the holiday is the sales, it doesn’t mean you should totally ignore the meaning behind the holiday.
Promote some products that celebrate singlehood.
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Self-love is an important thing to remember these days, so you could also create a landing page promoting products that promote that idea.
Just as you would for any other sales opportunity, make sure your customers remember the holiday is coming. Not only that, but make sure they know what you’re planning.
Send out email marketing campaigns or inform people in your newsletters.
If you have an active social media account, post your plans a few days/weeks in advance to make sure your customers are ready to visit your site on this one-day event.
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If you want to get a jump start on your holiday sales, you should strongly consider starting a Singles’ Day promotion. The key here is to start a marketing campaign a few weeks in advance. Get on social media and spread the word. For example, you can go on Instagram and set up some polls to get engagement and an overview of the interest from your audience.
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