In this episode of Retail Right Now, Total Retail's Melissa Campanelli and Kristina Stidham discuss Singles Day, the annual shopping holiday in China that rakes in billions of dollars for online brands and retailers. This year, the shopping event is an even larger opportunity for cross-border e-commerce growth as online shopping is already heightened amidst the coronavirus pandemic. The 2020 Singles Day shopping event has topped $74 billion in total sales, a huge increase from last year's record high. The data suggests robust consumer health in the world's second-largest economy. There are many reasons for the increase, such as Alibaba's extra three days of sales, an addition of more than 16 million promotional items, participation from 200 luxury brands, and live streaming.
U.S. retailers should be paying close attention to the incredible success of this year’s Singles Day and keep it in mind when thinking about their own e-commerce and marketplace strategies. For example, it solidifies the importance of "shopping holidays" such as Singles Day, Amazon Prime Day, Cyber Monday and others as virtual events that consumers pay attention to and participate in. It also signals that the Chinese economy is coming back, and that it may be time for retailers — if they haven’t already — to start focusing on global e-commerce for growth opportunities. The incredible growth of Singles Day also illustrates the popularity of online marketplaces such as Alibaba and Amazon for e-commerce shoppers.