Alibaba, Retailers Gearing Up for Successful Singles Day
This Saturday, Nov. 11, the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba will hold its annual Singles Day event, which last year grossed $17.8 billion (USD) in sales, up from $14.3 billion in 2015, according to a report from Fung Global Retail & Technology (FGRT). The 24-hour phenomenon has quickly become the world's largest shopping day, consistently surpassing online sales totals of all the major one-day shopping holidays in the U.S., including Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Amazon Prime Day. This year, FGRT forecasts Singles Day is expected to break more records as 140,000 brands — including more than 60,000 international brands — are participating in the on-day sales event, up from 100,000 last year.
Brands that will partake in Singles Day this year include lululemon, Adidas, Bose, Gap, MAC Cosmetics, Nike, Procter & Gamble, Macy's and Zara, which will all have a presence on Alibaba's Tmall platform. These brands will showcase their products to more than half a billion Chinese consumers. In total, Alibaba's 2017 Singles Day is promising 15 million product listings from more than 140,000 different brands.
Total Retail's Take: It will be interesting to see the results of Singles Day this year. While last year was very successful for Alibaba and its brand partners, some logistics improvements need to be made for the event to grow even more. According to the FGRT report, one in three respondents reported canceling an order last year because of shipping delays.
"Logistics remains a key issue among survey respondents, and, if not tackled properly, could lead to a drop in sales this year,” wrote FGRT Managing Director Deborah Weinswig. “Thirty-two percent of surveyed shoppers say they cancelled all or part of their orders last year due to long waiting times.” What’s more, shoppers’ attitudes are changing, and they’re increasingly focusing on quality rather than discounts. "Singles Day is renowned for the deep discounts offered by retailers, but online shoppers are no longer focusing on price alone," Weinswig wrote. “Some 78 percent of survey respondents indicated that they were more focused on quality than price when shopping during Singles Day last year, and more than half said they believe they will have to request a refund or exchange goods purchased this year." Check back with us on Monday to get post-Singles Day coverage.