Although Black Friday is the biggest shopping day in Britain, Europe and the US, the biggest day for online shopping worldwide is ‘Singles day’ in China.
Singles Day was created in China to celebrate single people. It’s held every year on the 11th November, 11.11, with the number 1 symbolising the single individual. This day has gradually become one of the biggest online shopping events i.n the world.
Alibaba Group made Singles Day synonymous with people treating themselves to gifts and last year they recorded sales of £9.4 billion during the 24 hour event (The Guardian).
Alibaba’s Singles Day sales continue to climb every year, reaching this years record figure of $17.8 billion (£14 billion).
In the last few years, several European brands have joined Singles Day. Dyson went on board in 2014 and Macy’s, Hugo Boss and United Biscuits joined the in 2015.
Waitrose entered the Chinese market in April this year, they said: “Singles Day is a big occasion for consumers and businesses in China and has the potential to give the products we offer more exposure and provide another opportunity to test demand for our brand.”
2016 Singles Day sales figure are four times that of worldwide Black Friday sales (source).
Interestingly, mobile devices play a large part in Singles Day’s success. Alibaba reported 82% of purchases had been made on mobile phones during Singles Day. “In contrast, many Black Friday opportunities are concentrated on the high street, which is not always convenient for those just wanting to shop from home, on their mobile or from more rural areas” Wing Chan, group marketing director of The Hut Group.
The exponential growth of mobile and the already observed shift online of British shoppers suggests that Black Friday will continue to grow online; this year 64% of purchases took place on mobile devices (22.7% on tablets, 41.7% on mobile), which is 16% more than the previous year (source).
This is a big opportunity for retailers in the UK and Europe. Investing and focusing your business growth on mobile clearly reflects customer’s current shopping behaviour and desires. Not only that but it can also convert more highly – on Black Friday, mobile optimised websites had a 30% increase in sales and a 25% higher average order value.
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