Singles Day 2018, this year's biggest shopping event is just around the corner: no black Friday, but Singles Day, arriving…
Singles Day 2018, this year’s biggest shopping event is just around the corner: no black Friday, but Singles Day, arriving in China on Sunday with doorways for savvy shoppers.
The holiday was initiated by the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba in 2009 and has since gone over Black Friday as the single largest sales day in the world. Last year, Singles & # 39; Day recorded a record of $ 25.3 billion in sales, double Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.
However, its origins extend back to 1993, when students at China’s Nanjing University bought gifts to celebrate their single hood and resist social pressure to marry. The single students chose November 11th as their “anti-Valentine’s Day”, with all the date’s single digits (1
1.11) representing a “stick” or unrelated individual who rides alone.
These days, Singles Day is still about treating yourself, no matter if you have someone to share your new change. It has also taken place globally: Alibaba rebranded Singles Day as the “11.11 Global Shopping Festival” and its e-commerce archrival JD.com joined Fray, as well as international brands like Gap, Nike and Macy. In 2016, Alibaba even started “Show Now, Buy Now” fashion shows in late October, and expand the Singles’ Day shopping spree with pre-order agreements.
Let’s pack up some Singles & # 39; Day Stats and Seeing How Chinese Shopping Abounds Stands Up
The most important American competitor for Singles Day is after-Thanksgiving Black Friday, famous for snake queues and dangerous stampede.
Both holidays seasons for splurging. Singles Day shopping begins between China’s golden week (early October) and Chinese New Year (early February), filling in another slow spelling for retailers, while Black Friday and the Digital Elephant’s Cyber Monday signal the kickoff for winter holiday shopping in the United States  But they have some differences. Singles Day has more limited edition toys, with less emphasis on steep discounts.
Many American shoppers watch Black Friday to pay a big deal, such as flat screen TV, at discounted prices. But Singles Day, like the original nemesis Valentine’s Day, has also become famous for gift exchanges.
“What began as an opportunity for single people to celebrate their independence has evolved into one of the biggest events in China,” Fung Global Retail & Technology analyst reported in 2017.
The statistics go Proving that there is a small competition: Singles Day sales increased beyond US Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2012 and only expanded from there. Alibaba pulled $ 25.3 billion by 2017, compared to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which together raked in $ 11.62 billion for Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. And Alibaba is not the only player: JD.com also made $ 19.1 billion on Singles Day 2017.
Customers in 225 countries snapped up goods from over 140,000 companies, according to data from Alibaba. At the sales altitude, Alibaba’s cloud services processed 325,000 transactions per second; In total, it delivered 812 million packages.
Singles Day 2018 promises to be an even bigger bonanza. For Singles & # 39; Day 10 Year Anniversary, Alibaba extends sales for 48 hours, giving customers more time to browse 500,000 items from 180,000 brands and 75 countries at Tmall online outlet. Alibaba’s subsidiary will also offer special offers, including Alibab’s food delivery service Ele.me, Hema and the South-East e-commerce site Lazada.
Singlesday 2018 becomes “bigger and more successful” than its predecessor, Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang promised last month.
Alibaba is already ready: the logistics company opened China’s largest robot warehouse and chartered 51 international flights and 1,000 containers. Alibaba may need them: the company expects to meet 1 billion orders.
There is also a new startup: Prime Day, which Amazon debuted in July 2015 with special offers only for Amazon Prime customers.
Amazon does not reveal sales figures, but the company said Prime Day 2018 was the largest ever, with 100 million products ordered despite early technical interruptions. Amazon also extended Prime Day for 36 hours and offered credit to Whole Foods customers in response.
But Prime Day is still only compared to Singles Day. Part of the reason is market size: Prime Day is only enough for Amazon subscribers, whose number exceeded 100 million this year. Amazon also uses Prime Day to promote Prime membership and domestic products like Alexa and Echo Speakers and Fire Tablets.
Singles Day is about more than sales, with Alibaba and other brand sellers hosting a host of festivals and special events to attract customers.
Alibaba shuts off Singles & # 39; Day with a star-filled gala on November 10 that rivals the Super Bowl for acting. The 2017 exhibition was presented by Pharrell Williams and included virtual reality tests, a free Antarctic tourdog and celebrity performances by Nicole Kidman, Jesse J and Maria Sharapova.
“Entertainment and interaction are becoming increasingly part of e-commerce,” said CEO Zhang last year.
Alibaba also expands its digital shopping experience to new territory: offline. The company’s “New Retail” rollout will include invitations and enhanced reality experiences in 200,000 “smart” stores across 400 cities.si
Write to Eli Meixler at [email protected]