What Singles Day Means for US eCommerce Brands and Retailers
When you imagine the biggest sales day for eCommerce in the world, you probably think of Cyber Monday or Black Friday, but there is another day that drives significantly higher sales. In fact, Singles Day is the most popular shopping day of the year and it happens just a few short weeks before Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the US. So what exactly is Singles Day? It’s a shopping event that occurs on November 11th (11/11) each year, primarily in China and East Asia. It was created by Chinese retailers and is driven exclusively by eCommerce.
So how is this day outperforming Black Friday and Cyber Monday and what implications does this have for US eCommerce companies? Here’s a look at why you should consider what this day means for APAC eCommerce when developing your US holiday eCommerce strategy and what this could mean for the future of eCommerce in the US
Black Friday and Cyber Monday Are Fleeting
The ‘holiday’ of Black Friday was created due in part to the interest of U.S. consumers to shop on their day off after Thanksgiving. According to the National Retail Federation, the time between Black Friday and Christmas make up 30% of all retail sales for the year. While this still is one of the most popular days for most brick and mortar retailers, in-store traffic on Black Friday has been declining for several years, despite the fact that over 100 million people braved the crowds and shopped on Black Friday in 2016. However, this number was down 3 million from the year prior.
Black Friday may be having less of an appeal, due in part to the limitless shelf of the Internet, as well as many retailers extending many of their best deals onto the web. Even Cyber Monday is losing its penetration as a single day event, in part due to promotions lasting throughout the Thanksgiving weekend and even sometimes starting before Thanksgiving.
In fact, data from Adobe highlights over $3.5 billion will be spent online on Black Friday alone, up 5% from 2016, and another $3 billion spent on Cyber Monday online.
Mobile eCommerce is Changing the way Shopping is being done
While overall holiday spending is shifting online, an increasing share of that spend is moving to the mobile phone. App Annie highlights 2017 will be the biggest mobile shopping day ever for the US, with consumers spending more than 6 million hours in the top retailer mobile apps. And to think this doesn’t even cover mobile browsers! Adobe predicts over $1 billion will be spent on mobile phones on Black Friday alone.
Singles Day, by the Numbers
Despite their gaudy numbers, Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined pale in comparison to Singles Day. For example in 2016, Chinese retailers enjoyed $17.8 billion in sales on Singles Day alone, when Black Friday came in at $3.34 billion in online spending during 2016. This equates to a 432% difference, with Singles Day dominating our top day. Even more interesting, in 2017 Singles Day grew to $25.3 billion in sales, a 42% growth. What is even more incredible is that Chinese retailer Alibaba hit $5 billion in sales, during the first 15 minutes of Singles Day! Alibaba did more sales in the first 15 minutes, then the US does online for ALL of Black Friday.
If these numbers are any indication that eCommerce has a tremendous runway in the US, then this leaves significant opportunity for US manufacturers and retailers looking to drum up more sales in the future years. The focus should be shifting more and more towards eCommerce.
Despite all of these amazing statistics about Singles Day, here is the most significant; 90% of that $25 billion in transactions, happened via mobile. Let that sink in for a bit since Black Friday will contribute just over $1 billion in mobile transactions this year, according to Adobe.
Don’t Forget About Prime Day?
Amazon’s self created one day sales event, which happens in July brought in over $1 billion this year. Compare that to Singles Day and you see quite a runway for eCommerce in the US.
So what does Singles Day mean for US Brands and Retailers?
Two things should be crystal clear from looking at Singles Day, growth is ripe for eCommerce to earn a larger share of the Holiday retail spending and mobile as a vehicle for that eCommerce spending has an even larger growth potential.
If you are a brand and you aren’t considering adding eCommerce to your current retail strategy, you might be missing out on what could be a significant growth opportunity for you. If you are a brand and you want to help develop that eCommerce strategy, or further mature that strategy to increase sales, give us a call and let’s see how we can help.