British firms can no longer ignore opportunity singles’ day offers

Singles’ Day has the potential to become a global retail day, much like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Chinese consumers are expected to spend $20 billion in the Singles’ Day shopping splurge that claims to be the world’s biggest shopping event.

In less than seven minutes after midnight on Friday, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba said 10 billion yuan (US$1.47 billion) of products had already been sold through its platforms as consumers indulged the now annual celebration of the country’s lonely hearts.

Three years ago it took Alibaba six hours to reach that number. Less than halfway into the day this year, sales surpassed last year’s total.

Analysts expect $20 billion in sales, smashing the 2015 record haul of $14.4 billion, in a day that has eclipsed both Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the two biggest shopping days in the US.

Foreign brands such as Apple, Nike, New Balance, Adidas and Ugg dominated the top sellers, with only a couple of Chinese brands making the cut, mainly mobile phones and home appliances.

Dom Joseph, CEO and co-founder of Captify, thinks that with a record £11 billion being spent on Singles’ Day last year, the size of the opportunity on offer to UK brands and online retailers can no longer be underestimated or ignored.

Top British brands, who have already jumped into the online retail market in China for Singles’ Day, such as Marks & Spencer, have seen huge sales surges and are already reaping the rewards that the day offers.

Joseph says, ‘Consumers, no matter where they are in the world, will always vote with their wallets and similarly to Black Friday, if Singles’ Day didn’t offer huge price discounts on products that consumers valued and wanted, it wouldn’t be nearly as successful as it has now become.’

He adds, ‘In the next few years however, Singles’ Day also has the potential to become a global retail event, in much the same vein as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. As more and more western brands see the immense value that the day offers, they’ll likely offer the same online discounts on Singles’ Day to their customers outside of China to help to drive sales ahead of the busy Christmas period.’

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