As far back as 2015, we wrote about the huge success of China-based Singles’ Day. Which always occurs on November 11. Online Singles’ Day sales rose impressively each year. But less so this year. Let’s look at the moderate 2021 sales growth for Singles’ Day.
2011 to 2021: The Moderate 2021 Sales Growth for Singles’ Day
According to Mike O’Brien, writing for Multichannel Merchant:
Singles Day 2021, really Singles Nearly Fortnight (to borrow a British term) running from Nov. 1-11, was hit by headwinds from an anemic economy, the pandemic, Chinese crackdowns, and supply issues. There wasn’t the usual flash and buzz leading up to and during Singles Day as in past years, with star-studded broadcasts reminiscent of the Jerry Lewis Labor Day telethon. One analyst from Yahoo Finance described an Alibaba event in New York as “subdued.”
For a an analysis of the ten-year period of 2011-2021, we turn to Statista. And an article by Yihan Ma:
During the two-week shopping events until November 11, 2021, Chinese spending on Alibaba’s E-commerce platforms amounted to 84.54 billion U.S. dollars. Singles’ Day sales in China surpass the U.S. Cyber Monday sales, Black Friday, or any other 24-hour shopping campaign by a wide margin.
The holiday started in the early 1990s as a student initiative to celebrate their singledom. November 11 (or 11.11) represented solitary figures (singles). In 2009, China’s E-commerce giant Alibaba Group created the connection between Singles’ Day and online shopping. Since the successful online Alibaba’s shopping festival launch, other E-commerce platforms also implemented sales on Singles’ Day.
Despite the success of Singles’ Day, critics says that:
This bonanza encourages people to shop irrationally and wastefully. Alibaba’s logistics alone delivers around a billion orders placed on that day that require cardboard boxes as well plastic wraps and packaging. It is also a time of overtime and chaos for many workers in thousands of warehouses and courier units. Finally, many Chinese still cannot afford to participate. Hence, the sense of inequality becomes even more evident.