If you live in the U.S. (and many other places), you may be unaware of Singles’ Day. This annual event, from China’s Alibaba, falls on November 11 each year (11.11). Singles’ Day 2017 will set new records.

Before we examine expectations for 11.11.2017, let’s describe what Singles’ Day is.


The Phenomenon of Singles’ Day

Due to its immense success, we discussed Singles’ Day evolution in 2015 and 2016. For easy reading, we meld content from these two posts in this section.   2016 China-Based Singles’ Day to Dominate Global Holiday Season.   China-Based Singles’ Day Dwarfs Cyber Monday Sales (2015).

These are highlights from the posts:

Each year, Alibaba runs a Singles’ Day on November 11 targeted at final consumers. As The Street reported. “It is the biggest annual retail event. It beats Cyber Monday and Black Friday.”

What is Singles’ Day? According to the Telegraph, it started in the 1990s. “It was as an ‘anti-Valentine’s’ fete for Chinese single people. Students at Nanjing University celebrated their singledom. But it has spawned into the world’s biggest online shopping day. We can write November 11 as 11.11, or one-one-one-one.  Alibaba (China’s Amazon equivalent) chiefs spotted the commercial opportunity in 2009. And it launched ‘Double 11’ deals just as online shopping started exploding. It was also a chance to boost sales in the lull between China’s Golden Week holiday in October and the Christmas season. When sales almost quadrupled the following year, Alibaba trademarked Singles’ Day. Some featured sales center around singledom, such as boyfriend pillows and single travel tickets. But now, the day is an all-inclusive shopping holiday.”

Knowledge@Wharton noted: “In just one day — November 11 — Alibaba Group generates many times the volume of Cyber Monday. Beyond offering consumers steep discounts, Alibaba unveiled a glitzy, star-studded TV show that aired on the eve of Singles’ Day to prompt viewers to snap up specials via their computer, tablet, smartphone or Internet-enabled TV or set-top box.”


Singles’ Day 2017 Will Set New Records

So, what do experts say about Singles’ Day 2017?

Read eMarketer’s take:

Alibaba “reported that it recorded sales totaling about $18 billion during the 24-hour event in 2016. For some context, consider that Black Friday online sales in the U.S. totaled $2.74 billion the same year — about one-sixth of the sales from Singles’ Day. Global consulting firm Oliver Wyman expects Alibaba to outdo itself again this year, projecting that sales on its E-commerce platforms will total $23 billion, a growth rate of 26% over 2016.”

However, “there are signs that consumers may be experiencing some festival fatigue. According to a recent AdMaster survey, 64% of digital buyers in China said they plan to make a purchase during the festival, down from 71% in 2016, and 84% in 2015. Yet, the potential for waning interest in Singles’ Day hasn’t deterred Alibaba from doubling down on the event. This year, the company began its marketing offensive in October, announcing that some 140,000 brands had been recruited to participate in the festival, which Alibaba is also attempting to rebrand as the ‘11.11 Global Shopping Festival’ lasting three weeks.”

“Including ‘global’ is particularly interesting, since Alibaba makes no secret of the fact that it hopes to entice shoppers in Europe — and even the U.S. — to take advantage of sales deals. Alibaba reports that consumers in some 200 countries participated in Singles’ Day last year.”


Click the image to visit Alibaba’s 11.11 Web page.

Singles' Day 2017 Will Set New Records. Alibaba 11.11.2017.

19 Replies to “Singles’ Day 2017 Will Set New Records”

  1. To be honest some of the statistics from this post were pretty staggering. $18 billion in a 24-hour period is actually ridiculous. If I saw this article posted somewhere else I wouldn’t even believe it. I would assume that this is a result of China’s population being 4x that of the US, and the single population in China is probably similar to the total population in the United States. Novelty holidays such as this one have really taken off in the past few years as society as a whole strays away from religious holidays. If a holiday such as this one were introduced and marketed 20 or 30 years ago, it would not nearly be as successful as in today’s market. The success of Singles’ Day is a result of the culture that the people of the world as a whole have ushered in. But seriously…$18 billion in 24 hours???

  2. I think Singles’ Day is not a holiday that just celebrate people’s singledom but also a great chance for people to do online shopping. Singles’ Day shopping has became a big deal in China for many years. Alibaba would offer many big discounts on that day. Just like the Black Friday in the US, Single Day shopping has became a tradition in China. Many shopper would have a shopping list for Single Day shopping. Moreover, since online shopping became so popular these year, it is much easier for customers to spend more money. It is a smart way that Alibaba using celebrate Single Day as an “excuse” to offer big discounts and encourage customers to spend more money.

  3. Just like the student who gave the first comment, I too was in disbelief at that number of sales in the 24 hour period. Living here in the United States, I know how popular black Friday and cyber Monday are, but the sales numbers don’t even come close to this Single’s Day event! However, due to the population in China compared to the United States, I suppose it does make sense. Also, black Friday and cyber Monday occur due to the holiday season here in America. Single’s Day really seems like a holiday itself!!

  4. Singles’ Day might be a great marketing title in the beginning period since it is fun and will draw lots of attention. Now Singles’ Day is not only for those Singles but for every one who wants to have discount products.

  5. In respect to the sales data for Singles’ Day, I agree that the $18 billion in 24 hours is almost unbelievable. Considering the sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday it isn’t that odd to have “retail holidays” around other major holidays.

  6. I think that the data provided regarding total sales during Singles Day and Black Friday online sales is providing an inaccurate depiction of the actual sale figures. Online shopping occurs during “Cyber Monday” and to compare Black Friday’s online sales with Singles Day total sales is in a sense not entirely accurate, since most sales occur in store on Black Friday. The numbers are incredible, it is astonishing to see this much money being spent on a day for single people to indulge, but then again, the population of China is huge in comparison to the United States.

  7. Once Singles’ Day was just a discount day in China, but with the globalization process and more and more people from China live in or study abroad, some U.S. shopping websites and brands also have discount activities in Singles’ Day. Maybe in the future, it could become other commercial opportunity for foreign brands to market in China.

  8. This is the first time I have heard about China’s single day and I am honestly wondering why we do not have this implemented in the US. The total sales are completely astounding and I believe this online phenomenon would boost the US economy. Although the insane amount of sales from China’s singles day is probably also due to their enormous population size, I think Americans would be more than likely to spend a generous amount on money for 11.11 deals. Especially with the holiday season approaching, this holiday would be great way for American consumers to knock out some early holiday shopping.

  9. I actually just recently heard about Single’s day when I was online shopping last week. I didn’t really understand why the store was having a sale, but obviously I didn’t question it. After reading this article, it is interesting to see how big of a deal this day is. Although a lot of the reason it is so profitable in China is because of population size, I think it is still something that Americans are trying to adapt and make their own.

  10. I have never heard of Single Day but the numbers here show it is a great tactic! $18.4b in sales is astounding and if we were to market this in the US many people would likely indulge as many if us do! Also, as non single people have access to the cyber deals as well, it attracts many people- not just singles. This is idea would likely be embraced in society today as other students have mentioned.

  11. Undoubtedly, Single’s Day now has other meaning than ceremony for Single in China. It is a specific online shopping day for all Chinese people.Honestly speaking, $18.4 billion in 24 hours is not ridiculous if you guys have the experience of living in China.

  12. Eighteen point four billion dollars in twenty-four hours is quite the cash grab. This, Cyber-Monday, and a host of other tokenistic holidays have spawned recently; I think that the root was Mother’s Day, the original “Hallmark Holiday.” There are some serious economic implications when you realize that holidays can spur massive sales, and that enough good marketing allows a company generate holidays on demand.

  13. As a Chinese student, I noticed that single day in China is significant because it also calls “shopping day”. Sellers Tmall all sell discounted items to attract customers. Some bonus like when you buy over some amount, you will pay less, make customers to buy more than what they need and save for later.

  14. Alibaba was very smart to jump onto the “Singles Day” opportunity back in 2009. Capitalizing on holidays is commonplace nowadays. With major holidays such as Halloween, Black Friday, and Christmas, there are many competitors in the market slashing their prices or promoting their products. Therefore, it was brilliant to jump on board a newly popular “holiday” in order to make a mark for themselves. It does concern me why the percentage of digital buyers intentions to buy is decreasing. It may be due to more competition in that market.

  15. The idea behind singles day is a good one. People are always looking for ways to justify treating themselves and so the whole idea behind this holiday seems to be to celebrate yourself and your “singleness.” What better way than spending a little money for yourself and not feeling guilty about it. Society has always been a little materialistic, but today, it seems to be like that is what our market calendar depends on. Before a holiday even has a chance to end, the promo for the next holiday is being advertised.

  16. Wow! I never knew this day existed! This is a very smart idea. To hone in on people’s social/personal life is clearly very effective according to the statistics. They should bring this idea to the states, I know I would participate.

  17. It is what we called Double 11. It is the most crazy day in China for online shopping, all the people are trying to buy something in that day. All those works are designed by Jack Ma and his company Alibaba, the most successful businessman in China right now. Thanks to Jack Ma.

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