Happy Single’s Day 2020! This year, Single’s Day is expected to generate more revenue than ever before, with brands eager to recover from COVID19’s economic impact. Black Friday and Cyber Monday might be major m-commerce opportunities for marketers in the West. But, if you’re looking to reach users across China and Southeast Asia, Single's Day is the most important event of the year. Here’s what to expect on Single’s Day 2020.
Wait, But What is Single’s Day?
Singles Day (also known as Double 11) was started as an unofficial celebration of a person’s singledom in the 1990s by Chinese university students. The date selected was 11/11, and is fittingly full of 1’s to symbolize solo living. Since its founding, Chinese e-commerce platform Alibaba has deftly transformed the holiday into a massive shopping event.
The first Single's Day Alibaba offered customers discounts up to 50% off from more than 25 merchants and generated $7 million in sales. Year over year, the number of brands participating in the Alibaba event grew. In 2015, the year after Alibaba went public on the New York Stock Exchange, Single's Day drove $14 billion. This broke the Guinness World Record for the highest online sales revenue generated by a single company in 24 hours.
In AppsFlyer’s State of Shopping App Marketing 2020 Edition, eCommerce and Shopping apps grew by 42% from February to June. In fact growth surged by 146% in Singapore during this period. Single’s Day 2019 saw demand reach an all time high in both eCommerce and Shopping categories. This trajectory is expected to continue into this year’s Single’s Day.
The shopping event consistently generates billions of dollars annually for Alibaba, on a scale that makes American shopping holidays seem tame. In 2019, Single's Day generated $38 billion, ten times the $3.5 billion Amazon reached on Prime Day last year.
One reason for the event’s success is the sheer size of the Chinese consumer market. China is home to 1.3 billion people, 738 million of whom are online.
What to Expect on Single’s Day 2020
This year, Alibaba is extending the timeline of its Single's Day shopping festival. Instead of just one day, Alibaba is repositioning Single’s Day to be a seasonal sales period, with pre-sales starting October 21.
Single's Day 2020 shopping festival includes two phases: the first began November 1st and the second will take place on the normal November 11th date. The first stage focused on new brands, new products and global exclusive items. The second stage will resemble that of the regular Double 11 promotions of past years.
China’s economy has recovered well from COVID19 and is now operating on a normal footing, with 4.9% GDP growth in Q3, up from 3.2% growth in Q2. E-commerce sales and consumer behavior also seem to have rebounded. Cosmetics sales are up 19% from last year, and household appliances up 4% in the same period.
Single’s Day 2020 projections further indicate the thriving health of China's economy. When pre-bookings began on November 1st, the company reported that 100 brands recorded sales of 100 million yuan (US$15 million) apiece within two hours of opening.
This year, Alibaba is also boasting the participation of 250,000 brands and 800 million consumers. Some 2,600 international brands will be new to the platform this year.
More on Mobile
China ranks first globally in mobile users and buying. As previously noted, China is home to 1.3 billion people, 738 million of whom are online. More than half the population owns a smartphone, and 56% of e-commerce sales take place on a mobile device. For reference, in the US only about 35% of e-commerce sales are completed on mobile.
It only takes a look at last year’s Single’s Day figures to know that mobile is the preferred way to shop in China. Ninety percent of sales came from mobile devices on 11.11, far outperforming mobile sales figures during shopping events in the US (37% during Black Friday and 33% on Cyber Monday).
Chinese consumers are also spending more time on mobile devices. This is due to the changing habits brought by COVID19 lockdown measures. The average mobile internet user in China now spends more than seven hours a day online. This contrasts dramatically from the average 90 minutes Chinese users spent on mobile more than a year ago. This, combined with growing consumer demand from a rising middle class, sets up online retail in China to hit 1.8 trillion yuan ($264 billion) by 2022. This will make China the largest e-commerce market in the world.
Segmenting users based on their user persona and where they spend their time can help you build strategies to pique their interest to come back. Dynamic product feeds combined with deep linking can bring users back to where they left off in their shopping. According to Appsflyer, in 2019 there was an 88% increase in app installs compared to 2018 through retargeting for app downloads. This indicates that leveraging hyper-focused targeting, messaging and content can drive greater purchase conversions.
Single's Day is an essential m-commerce opportunity for mobile marketers looking to grow in APAC.
- This year's 11.11 shopping festival will be extended to include two phases. Instead of just one day, Alibaba is repositioning Single’s Day to be a seasonal sales period, with pre-sales starting October 21.
- This year, Alibaba is boasting the participation of 250,000 brands and 800 million consumers. Some 2,600 international brands will be new to the platform this year. The company reported that 100 brands recorded sales of 100 million yuan (US$15 million) apiece within two hours of opening sales on November 1st.
- Ninety percent of sales came from mobile devices on Single’s Day in 2019. With Chinese mobile users spending even more time on mobile devices after lockdown restrictions, mobile is sure to be the main driver of revenue this Single’s Day as well.
- 11.11 is a key time to leverage dynamic product feeds and personalization to re-engage shoppers.