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Could Singles Day be the New Black Friday for the West?

Singles Day (11th November) was initiated in 1993 in China by students celebrating their ‘single’ status. Since then, it has become a huge commercial opportunity for ecommerce merchants and retailers all over the world.

In 2009, 27 merchants offered special discounts and cashed in around £5m. When sales almost quadrupled the following year, Alibaba trademarked Singles Day.

In 2015 Singles Day was the biggest online shopping day in history. Chinese consumers spent almost £9bn through Alibaba (the Chinese online shopping platform) in just 24 hours.

What began as a day focused on offers for single people, such as boyfriend pillows and single travel tickets, has now widened to an all-inclusive shopping experience and retailers offer discounts on healthcare products, groceries, watches, clothing and electronics.

So will we see the same hype around Singles Day in the UK and across Europe?

According to Worldpay, the total value of transactions made on UK cards on Singles Day grew 251% year-on-year in 2015. At the same time, the volume of transactions was up by 307%, suggesting that Singles Day is gaining traction among UK shoppers too. This year, Singles day reached £12 billion, 20 hours into the event.

Even though Black Friday is currently the biggest sales day in the UK, Singles Day could be a serious contender. Today’s savvy shoppers love a good discount and more people can relate to the concept of gifting rather than an arbitrary sales day. As the saying goes, ‘Build it and they’ll come.' So if you think Singles Day could be a great opportunity for your business or you need a new sales avenue, prepare a strong promotion/discount campaign to attract new customers with your unique offers.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you want to know more about the best strategies for making Singles Day a profitable day for your business.

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