Singles day, or guanggun jie, as it’s known in China, falls on November 11 because of the number of 1’s in the date. Traditionally, the holiday is to celebrate singlehood, but through the Internet, has become a widespread holiday for youths and consequently, has become the largest shopping holiday as many companies targeting youth have special promotions for the holiday. Last year, the holiday set an online shopping world record, with China’s biggest online shopping company, Alibaba, processing over $5.75 billion in a single (pun intended) day.
Alibaba isn’t alone; several other ecommerce platforms have initiated their own Singles Day promotions, as well as many other large brands, including Nike, the Gap, Adidas, and Chinese electronic goods giant, Suning. Discounts starting several days before and lasting until days after with as much as 70% off have Chinese bargain-hunters feverishly staying up for days to shop online,
This year, China’s second largest online retailer, JD.com, has already started preparing for Singles Day, building a “highly automated” 100,000 square meter warehouse in Shanghai that is supposed to have the ability to process 16,000 packages an hour. Alibaba has even more grandiose plans: it plans to take Singles Day global, offering discounts on over a million products to shoppers in 200 countries. In addition to looking internationally, Alibaba also has upped it’s rural logistics in an effort to reach new buyers, investing 10 billion RMB in the next few years to establish over 100,000 village-level service stations.
Singles Day is a fantastic opportunity to drive awareness around your brand online. Even if you don’t have a brick-and-mortar store in China, you can still encourage Chinese shoppers through special discounts when they travel overseas by connecting to them through Chinese social media or by opening a storefront on a Chinese ecommerce platform.