The Single Most Important E-Commerce Shopping Day of the Year

Being known as the world’s largest online shopping day is no small feat. What originally started in the early 1990’s by Chinese university students as a kind of “anti-valentines day” has now grown to a global event with more than a staggering $30b in sales, thanks largely to the CEO of Alibaba, Daniel Zhang Yong.

At the time Daniel Zhang was leading Alibaba’s new online shopping platform T-Mall and looking for ways to promote it, he took the date of November 11 and rebranded it Singles Day. The inaugural event, featuring just 27 merchants, grossed around $7 million.

“When we established the November 11 shopping festival in 2009, we were seeking a way to expand our business,” Alibaba chief executive Daniel Zhang Yong said at a press conference in Beijing last year. “Today, the festival is not only the most important shopping event for Chinese consumers, but it also has looped in substantial [number of] consumers from overseas to participate.”

Zhang said the 2018 edition of Singles’ Day – the 10th anniversary of the event – will be “bigger and more successful than in previous years”, following the initiatives taken by Alibaba under its New Retail strategy, which seeks to integrate the online and offline shopping experiences for consumers across a number of products and services.

And indeed it was with a massive 27% increase in sales!

“Over the last two years, we have pioneered the concept of New Retail to accelerate the digital transformation of the offline [shopping experience],” Zhang said. “We aim to become both the number one business partner for brands and the number one shopping destination for consumers.”

Case Study – David Jones

In 2018, China Social Solutions managed a Singles Day campaign for the David Jones flagship store in Melbourne, with the resulting ROI ratio being 100:1.

(Source: McKinsey, ‘What Singles Day can tell us about how retail is changing in China’ 2018)

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