China's Singles Day Sales Forecast to Trump Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales Combined
In just a few short hours, China will begin celebrating its largest shopping day of the year: Singles Day. Adopted five years ago as an anti-Valentine's Day marketing stunt by Alibaba, the quirky holiday has taken on a life of it's own. Last year, Singles Day brought in a record 35 billion yuan ($5.8 billion U.S.) for Alibaba alone, and a reported 50 billion yuan total. In comparison, Singles Day sold more than twice the gross merchandise volume of all U.S. sales during last year's Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales combined. And now that Alibaba has reported a successful first quarter after going public, analysts are predicting sales for this years Singles Day will be even bigger.
Promotions Are Starting Earlier
While Alibaba may have been the first company to capitalize on the quirky holiday, it's no longer the only retailer to participate. Other e-tailers such as JD.com are eager to cash in, and have started promotions early leading up to the day. In addition, some retailers offered a pre-sale on popular products, letting customers pay the remainder of the item on Singles Day. While only 25 percent of the Chinese population use the internet to shop, that number is quickly growing."
Warehouses Are Prepared for Strong Sales
Tmall announced it will provide free global delivery on Singles Day. The company has set up servers and warehouses overseas and strengthened relationships with international logistics firms to prepare for the estimated 90 million packages to be shipped during the duration of Singles Day. "The first step to go global is to make everyone able to buy things from Britain, Germany, United States or Japan at home," said Wang Yulei, president of Tmall, in a company press release.
Singles Day is Going Global
When Singles Day, or Double 11 Day, first started a few years ago, only a mere two dozen retailers offered sales. Now, participants are from all over. Taobao is partnering with over 20 international brands, including some from Japan, South Korea and the U.S. Alibaba confirms 200 merchants in over 20 countries have been added to its site for the one-day sales event. American retailers planning to partake in this year's sales include apparel company Zara and automotive retailer Tesla. Jack Ma, Alibaba's founder, says he's targeting more than $16.3 billion in sales for Singles Day.