Single Minded: ParcelHero says Singles Day now outstrips Cyber Monday and is set to conquer the West

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E-commerce fulfilment experts ParcelHero says the US and Britain are poised to embrace Singles Day: the biggest online sales day in the world.

Singles Day is set to catch on in the US and Europe says ParcelHero

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are now major days in the retail calendar. However, the international courier price comparison site ParcelHero says it’s just a couple of months until the biggest online bonanza in the world - and it’s an event most people in the US and Europe have never heard of: Singles Day! ParcelHero’s David Jinks MILT says: ‘As we revealed to Entrepreneur on July 13, last year a stunning 278 million items were sold on Singles Day, 11 November, worth $9.3bn. That dwarfs the world’s Cyber Monday sales, which only amounted to 36.8 million sales and were worth a ‘mere’ $2.68bn’.

Explains David: ‘Singles Day comes from China. It originated in Nanjing University where the large number of single males celebrated 11th November because it is all the ones: 11/11. Students continued the tradition once they had left university and it really took off in 2011: 11/11/11! It has become an excuse for an unofficial holiday, going on blind dates, and a huge shopping event in which single people buy themselves a treat.’

David continues: ‘Internet giant Alibaba saw its commercial potential and popularised the day with extensive offers. Its charismatic founder Jack Ma predicted last year: “‘I bet the number of goods sold is going to be scary”. He was right: sales last year totalled $9.3bn through Alibaba's Tmall, Taobao and AliExpress retail sites.’

Asks David: ‘Could the west also get Singles Day fever in the future? ParcelHero wouldn’t be surprised. Alibaba is moving the event westwards. Tmall particularly has been setting up partnerships with global brands to manage logistics and sales from outside of China and use Tmall as largely a front-end. Consumers should watch the AliExpress site for US and UK bargains. For any internet retailer looking to source products for their site, significant discounts on Alibaba sites on 11/11 can’t be bad; but there are also sales opportunities. As the day grows in popularity American and European buyers will start to seek out Singles Day bargains; and small retailers need to respond to this demand with Singles Day sales on their own sites or online marketplace stores such as eBay.’

Concludes David: ‘The day is ideally timed, by November 11 shoppers are very “Christmas conscious” and already buying presents, and it’s an opportunity for responsive retailers to steal a march on Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales. Retailers large and small should get single minded!’

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David Jinks
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