Singles Day, which takes place on November 11th (“11-11”), started out as a little-known Chinese holiday similar to Valentine’s Day – but is now four times bigger than Cyber Monday in the U.S.
Welcome to Cyber Monday for single people.
Singles Day first originated with Chinese college students back in the 1990’s as a way for singles to celebrate their single-ness – and has morphed into the largest online shopping day in the world. That is not a misprint.
It Pays to Be Single
Led by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, Singles Day generates 4x the sales of Cyber Monday in the U.S. That’s also not a misprint.
Alibaba anticipates a record $9 billion in transactions on Singles Day this year (source: International Business Times) – including over $1 billion worth of products sold in the first three minutes of the sale (source: Bloomberg Business).
This means single men and women are buying lots of nice things for themselves on November 11 (and you should too, btw).
It’s Not Just in China Anymore
What started out in China, is rapidly going global with more U.S. brands taking part. Larger retailers and brands have started using Singles Day as a way to introduce themselves to the Chinese (and Chinese-American) consumer, slashed prices and reduced shipping rates included.
U.S. and European brands such as Burberry, Estee Lauder, Zara, and Macy’s will join over 40,000 merchants, and more than 30,000 brands from 25 countries in selling over six million products for the occasion (source: Fortune).
Many U.S. shoppers are not even fully aware of this massive e-commerce holiday, but that’s changing.
Breaking News! Alibaba breaks Singles Day record with $14.3 billion in 2015 sales, up 54 percent from last year’s tally. 69 percent of all sales were made on mobile devices (source: BBC News).
What Indie Shops Can Do. If Not This Year, Then 2016.
Being single, non-committal, and obsessed with online shopping is obviously a very global phenomenon.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are now 126 million single people in the U.S. It’s time to start thinking about creative ways to attract them to your site!
Your Own Singles Day Sale
- Put some of your relevant, high-margin items on sale
- Merchandising – put together cute, creative product “bundles” – separate products that go well (and sell well) together around a theme. Here’s a quick tutorial
- Marketing – send out a broadcast email to your entire list, linking back to your site, and promote on your social media channels
- Maybe this is your alternative to Black Friday? Learn How to “opt out” of Black Friday and maintain sales here.
“Singles Days” are popping up all over the world, so get your business ready for an onslaught of singles for whom Match.com, eHarmony, and Tinder still haven’t delivered that perfect mate.