A special day of celebration for young people in China is Singles’ Day. It all began at a university in China in 1993. It was conceived to commemorate their status as a day for single individuals, kind of like an antidote to Valentine’s Day. As digit 1 resembles a single human, the date was chosen as 11 November, or 11/11.
Singles’ Day – The Sensation of E-Commerce
Alibaba turned this somewhat unknown day into an international shopping festival in 2009 – a step that has generated great returns, given that their sales for 2019 Singles’ Day have exceeded $38 billion. Other e-commerce portals have also carried massive amounts of merchandise – JD.com estimated their revenues of over $25 billion, and the overall amount of e-commerce revenues on Singles’ Day 2019 stood at $38.4 billion.
Singles’ Day is far bigger than even the largest American shopping festivals, as only these two sellers account for revenue of over $63 billion. CyberMonday, in fact, had revenue of just over $7 billion in 2018. It’s no wonder that brands have taken note of Singles’ Day 2019, with over 200,000 brands from over 200 countries participating. Buyers are tempted by the offers on offer, because over the 24-hour period, most participating brands offer massive discounts.
3 Ways of Innovation for 11/11
Through creative discounts, Alibaba has accelerated transactions and engagement across its different platforms. Buyers also obtained direct price discounts or vouchers that could be used in high-street stores or online. There were numerous deals offered leading up to the shopping festival, incentives and discounts for shopping, social media, travel, music streaming, etc. were offered across Alibaba subsidiaries.
Retailers offered a range of interactive activities to customers, and an example of a fashion show called ‘See Now, Buy Now’ allowed viewers to buy the clothes the models wear instantly. It is important to note that being mobile-friendly remains of utmost importance, as over 90 percent of sales were from mobile devices.
3. Live Streaming
A significant trend has been the growing popularity of live streaming. As they observed videos of the items, users could place orders, which facilitated a more engaging, enjoyable, and interesting experience. Video streaming revenue on Alibaba accounted for about 7.5 percent of overall revenue. Live streaming has become an efficient means of capturing customer interest and helping them discover items, as well as convincing them to buy instantly. This is similar but adapted to e-commerce, to conventional TV shopping.
While Singles’ Day started in China, its style is becoming increasingly global. We have already seen that a variety of international brands have taken part in order to gain a share of the Chinese e-commerce market this year. Singles’ Day is also expanding into more countries at the same time. This is partially due to the Lazada e-commerce site, which is a subsidiary of Alibaba and has taken Singles’ Day to Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam.