Think Black Friday is Big? Hello Singles' Day

Think Black Friday is Big? Hello Singles' Day

November 3, 2020

As the name would suggest, Singles’ Day began as an unofficial celebration of a person’s single status.

A commercial holiday, popularized by Alibaba in China, now known for being THE largest online shopping day in the world, by quite some margin! And you thought Black Friday was big 😉

Did you know, Singles’ Day always falls on the 11th of November because the date represents four ones, or, four singles, standing together.


Chinese eCommerce giant, Alibaba, first started offering massive discounts merchandise for the entire day and since then, Singles Day has fast become a super shopping holiday similar to Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the US.

In 2018, Alibaba registered $30.8 BILLION worth of sales across its online platforms on Singles Day 2018, an annual growth rate of 27%, that’s staggering. In the same year, Singles’ Day habits spread to the US where consumers spent $1.82 billion on November 11th, an increase of 29% year over year. No surprise that sales holidays are the largest in China, given that China is the largest eCommerce market in the world.

In 2019, Alibaba’s most profitable day was Singles’ Day, with over 1.3 billion orders placed in a single day, taking Alibaba to almost $38.4 billion in sales, $8 billion higher YoY.

In the MENA region, searches on Google for “Singles Day” were up 224% in 2019. Along with the intensified rise in retail searches, there’s historically been a prominent increase in searches around footwear, clothing, headphones and apparel, to name a few.

Fast forward to 2020, Covid twists. We know so far that eCommerce has already grown more in the last 10 months to date than it has in the last 10 years, we see that internally with our clients over summer and lockdown as well as the work we conduct with our partners.

With everyone at home this month, our expectations are high;

  • The Chinese economy has already recovered well from Covid-19, with a 4.9% GDP growth in the 3rd quarter of 2020 – an impressive bounce back by any measure
  • Similarly to Black Friday, it’s no longer becoming just a day. Alibaba are now positioning Singles Day to be a seasonal sales period with pre-sales already in full flow as of October 2020

We’re going to see some new records.

Still, need to prepare? Here’s a quick checklist;

  1. Ecommerce app downloads increased by 38% on Singles Day last year, put in extra effort to cross-check your UX/UI for the increased demand
  2. Engage audiences NOW to maintain consumer interests throughout the Black Friday shopping period
  3. Set up a Google Shopping campaign to provide consumers with detail before they even click through
  4. Of course ensure your feed, campaigns, ad copy etc are health checked and optimised meticulously!


Happy Shopping!



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