Is Singles Day the New Cyber Monday?

Sian Wang

Estimated read time: 2 minutes, 33 seconds

A relative newcomer to the holiday scene, Singles’ Day sales are rocketing. How does it compare to the surge of sales that retailers often see on Cyber Monday?

The phenomenon of Singles Day

$1 billion in sales in its first few minutes! That is what Singles Day racked up in 2016 before climbing to almost $18B for the 24 hour event.

Singles Day, which originated in China as a way for people to celebrate being “single”, takes place on November 11 and has since become the largest online shopping day in the world. Hosted by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Singles Day offers steep discounts across many stores and online businesses.

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Cyber Monday continues to grow

Cyber Monday takes place the first Monday after U.S. Thanksgiving and kicks off the “digital” holiday shopping season for the United States and Europe.

In 2016, Cyber Monday was the biggest day in the history of U.S. e-commerce with consumers spending $3.45 billion online. It was also the most successful Cyber Monday in the day’s history. And yet, every year, Cyber Monday’s sales are overshadowed by Singles Day.

Why should my business care?

In recent years, Singles Day has grown exponentially in popularity and success. And while the holiday is primarily based in China, Western companies are beginning to take notice of the day’s explosive growth. Just last year, Singles Day exceeded expectations by growing a calculated 53.7% in total revenue from 2014 to 2015.

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Over 15 thousand global companies participated in the event last year. That number is expected to increase, given the proven success of participating in the sale. Participation is not merely restricted to larger retailers such as Apple, Macy’s and Nike. Smaller businesses that are able to sell globally have the ability to enter this market phenomenon.

Strategies for selling on Singles Day

  • It should come as no surprise that, no matter what great discounts your business has, you will not sell anything if your audience does not know about your sales. Advertise and share your business several days in advance. Do not hesitate to use email, or social media such as Facebook and Twitter, to generate interest in your Singles Day sale.
  • As Singles Day is still a lesser known event outside Asian markets, you may want to advertise the day itself to your Western audiences. Encourage them that singles day is a feel-good celebration and one where they can easily purchase something for themselves.
  • If your business is intending to participate in singles day, it is vital to have a mobile payment system in place. Sales via mobile apps represent a huge portion of Singles Day’s total sales, amounting to 71% of all transactions. Eliminate barriers to entry by Including a mobile payment option and optimizing your website for mobile users. In doing so, you stand to greatly increase your potential audience.

Given the success of Singles Day, could the holiday expand into Western markets? Global retailers are taking notice of the range of opportunity that the sale provides. In time, this “holiday” outpace the success of Cyber Monday so position your online promotions now.

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