CHINESE SINGLES’ DAY 2017 – TAKE AWAYS for the European Retail and Tourism Industry

What do you associate with the 11th November? In Germany, for example, the carnival season starts on 11.11. This year, about 70,000 revellers came together in the centre of Cologne to celebrate the opening of the carnival season.

In China, meanwhile, the world’s biggest 24-hour online shopping event takes place on the 11.11.

On that day, retail sales in China have become nearly four times x-larger than those of Black Friday or Cyber Monday in the United States or of the Amazon Prime Day Sale. This date, known as ‘Singles’ Day’, was first celebrated by Chinese university students in the 1990s as a kind of anti-Valentine’s Day. The two numbers 11.11 are meant to symbolize that single people wish to be in a relationship. Originally being a non-commercial festival, it has since been turned by e-commerce giant Alibaba into the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival – the x-largest online shopping day anywhere in the world.

The online marketplace trademarks the event using the term ‘Double 11’. Alibaba, however, is not operating as a retailer itself but provides only the platform for companies to establish online stores. This year’s payment for online shopping that took place through Alibaba increased by 39 percent compared to 2016, reaching USD 38.2 billion.
Chinese consumers like Singles’ Day as an entertainment event, with shopping representing a kind of sport. Their love for a good bargain is spurred by the huge discounts that companies offer on all kinds of products and services.
On Singles’ Day, consumers are usually most interested in purchasing well-known brands. A growing share of desired products, however, is international brands, making up 40 percent of the overall purchases in last year’s Singles’ Day. Travel-related products and services have also entered onto the shopping lists of consumers. You thus need to know about this extraordinary event in order to take advantage of the opportunities that Singles’ Day offers for your own business.

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Our 4 TAKE AWAYS FROM THE CHINESE SINGLES’ DAY 2017 will help you to be better informed about the biggest online shopping event worldwide.
In 2017 alone, Chinese consumers spent USD 38.2 billion during this shopping event through Alibaba’s online marketplace. This mega shopping event for Chinese people offers new opportunities for the international retail and tourism industries as well, including for your business in Europe.

Some major trends can be related to SINGLES’ DAY 2017:

  • Focus on Luxury: Alibaba is strongly focusing on the luxury sector through new strategic partnerships with international fashion luxury brands. Alibaba’s competitor,, has begun appealing as well to high-end consumers by launching the new luxury e-commerce site TOPLIFE.
  • Foreign luxury brands take advantage of the selling power of Chinese Fashion KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders): top-tier Chinese fashion bloggers sold up to 60 percent of the discounted luxury products in their own stores on WeChat.
  • Chinese consumers use their smartphones for shopping: tour operators and city touristic marketing officers should broaden their programmes and try to attract this new kind of digitally enabled traveller, who is very much into cosmopolitan urban culture.

You are invited to download our e-book:

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We are very interested in your own opinions and experiences, and would like to be in touch with you. What we would be interested to know is:

  1. Are you aware of the enormous opportunities of SINGLES’ DAY for your own business?
  2. Are you already offering some special sales arrangements for Chinese people during SINGLES’ DAY?

Thank you for sharing your ideas with us!

Wishing you all the best,

Rossella and Margot

Categories: News.