Singles Day beats best expectations

China’s online shopping holiday ‘Singles’ Day’ has broken all previous records, lead by ecommerce giant Alibaba, with a shopping total alone of $14.3 billion, up 60 per cent on 2014.parison, sales on Cyber Monday, which is the biggest online shopping day in the US, hit $1.35 billion, according to data analytics firm ComScore.

Singles Day is held every year on 11 November. It originated in Nanjing University where the large number of single males celebrated 11th November because it is all the ones: 11/11. Students continued the tradition once they had left university and it really took off in 2011: 11/11/11! It has become an excuse for an unofficial holiday, going on blind dates, and a huge shopping event in which single people buy themselves a treat.’  In 2009, Alibaba chose to turn it into a major online shopping event, featuring steep discounts and other promotions aimed at attracting droves of online customers.

The company also stressed its focus on international ecommerce this Singles’ Day. “Within the next five years, we expect China will become the world’s largest ecommerce market for imported products,” Alibaba’s president, Michael Evans, told reporters

ParcelHero’s Head of Public Relations, David Jinks said, “Currently Singles Day is overwhelmingly centred on China, but sales of $14.3 billion will not go unnoticed in the west. In contrast Cyber Monday, which is the biggest online shopping day in the west, reached a ‘mere’ $2.68 billion year.”

This year experts were predicting Singles Day sales of around $10.4 billion. Jinks continued, “This figure was smashed and we believe it won’t be long until UK and US shoppers are as familiar with Singles Day as we now are Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Alibaba’s charismatic CEO Jack Ma said last year he hopes Singles Day will be “a global shopping day for the U.S., Europe, anywhere in the world” within five years, and we think he is correct.”

Sainsbury’s has already joined in the event, selling Singles day bargains to customers in China via Alibaba’s Tmall site. Tmall is setting up partnerships with other UK and global brands to manage logistics and sales from outside of China and use Tmall as largely a front-end.