We all know about Prime Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday — but did you know that none of them are even close to being the biggest day for online shopping? Even combined?
The world’s biggest day for online shopping is Singles Day on November 11th, with its total spending eclipsing other holidays by billions in revenue.
Singles Day has become more than just 24-hours of shopping and discounts. It has morphed into something bigger that’s a full-blown cultural, entertainment event driven primarily by Alibaba’s efforts.
How Singles Day started
Let’s go back to the start — Singles Day originated in China as an answer to Valentine’s Day for single people to celebrate being alone. In less than 10 years, it has become the world’s biggest online shopping event.
Popularized by Chinese retailer Alibaba, Singles Day has grown exponentially and in 2018 posted sales of $45 billion dollars over a 24-hour period. Yes, you read that correctly, $45 billion dollars, which is more than 3X the amount that Black Friday and Cyber Monday brought in combined in 2018.
Let’s check out a few ways that fashion retailers looking to appeal to Chinese shoppers or those looking to keep spreading this holiday to the Western market can prepare their stores for Singles Day 2019.
Focus on mobile experience
Singles Day is a primarily mobile-based shopping event, with 90% of transactions throughout the day done on mobile. That is a STAGGERING amount of mobile traffic and drives home the point that Chinese consumers are very much a mobile-first audience.
If you’re going to run promotions for Singles Day, make sure they are fully optimized for mobile visitors and in line with Google’s best practices for mobile pop-ups. A few tips:
- Don’t have promotions that take over the full screen or make your site hard to navigate.
- Use banners and tabs for general website messaging for mobile shoppers.
- Use a time delay or trigger your mobile pop-up for the second page view.
Your site itself also should be optimized for mobile traffic. Double check your navigation menu works and is easily clickable and that site elements are responsive and not disorganized.
Consider the customer journey when you’re reviewing your user experience; how would visitors move through the shopping journey and how can your site’s flow encourage them to take the desired actions leading up to a purchase.
If you’re a Western or Australian brand looking to appeal to a wider market make sure to take into consideration differences in culture and how that can impact your marketing.
The most obvious way to personalize your site is to have accurate translations (Google Translate doesn’t count!) and use geo-targeting to show the right site experience to shoppers based on their locations.
Make sure to take into account different meanings of design aspects like colors or characters, marketing messages rely heavily on cultural context.
This is important to consider when trying to broaden your audience and break into new markets.
While Singles Day is primarily still an east Asian holiday, its influence is starting to spread. More and more brands are participating and multinational brands have made their presence known.
Participation in Singles Day is a must if you are wanting to break into the market, there’s a huge opportunity for engagement and growth for brands who get this holiday right.
As a side note, November 11th is often known in Western markets (U.S. and Europe) as a day of remembrance. Depending on which holiday you choose to promote, it’s worth noting that a difference in tone and copy will be key to appeal to either audience.
Craft the right offer
Much like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Singles Day comes with an expectation of steep discounts and offers for customers. Bigger stores can participate in this race to the bottom mentality since they can afford smaller margins on a high sales volume, but for smaller stores, you need to look beyond the discount to capture customers.
Combine a discount with a secondary offer like a free shipping threshold, free gift with purchase, etc. so you can augment the value you’re offering consumers while preserving your profit margins. This is a great way to capture attention and make a promotion more appealing and avoid unprofitable promotional campaigns. Want to learn more? Checkout the Justuno Academy course below about creating dynamic shipping banners and free shipping threshold promotions:
Singles Day has become the ultimate example of online retail success and with statistics like $1 billion in sales during the first five minutes, there’s no contest. For e-commerce retailers looking to capitalize on the day, follow the best practices above and you’ll be able to effectively capture your website’s traffic.
Since this is only a few weeks before the infamous Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping weekend, it’s important to know your audience. If this isn’t likely to be a huge selling point for your target audience, don’t divert resources from known high-performing holiday efforts. But keep an eye on Singles Day, it’s become increasingly widespread and is something to consider for your marketing roadmap in 2020.