While online retailers in the United States are happy with Cyber Monday setting the new record for the largest domestic online shopping day, it is still far from the size of the largest online shopping day in China known as 11.11 or Single Day.
November 11th has become the most important date for eCommerce in China. Singles Day, what started as an anti-Valentine’s Day celebration, has also grown in to the world’s largest eCommerce shopping day. This day encourages single people to socialize and celebrate as well as give gifts. For the past few years Alibaba Group has promoted extensive online shopping deals across the Taobao Marketplace and Tmall.com shopping platforms with their 11.11 Shopping Festival. Alibaba Group has enjoyed rapid growth in participation for this day growing from 27 participating merchants in 2009 to nearly 10,000 in 2012. In 2013 several major brands from the United States became involved including Gap, Microsoft and Toys “R” Us.
Singles Day, known as “Guanggun Jie” in China, brought in $3.1 billion in sales just from Tmall.com and the Taobao Marketplace in 2012. Online sales processed by AliPay for these two platforms on November 11th exceeded expectations in 2013 growing 83 percent to $5.7 billion this year. By comparison IBM estimated that U.S. Cyber Monday online sales grew by 20.6 percent in 2013 from the year prior while ComScore estimated that online sales excluding mobile devices reached $1.7 billion in 2013. Just as several consecutive Cyber Mondays have broken the records for the single largest online shopping days in the United States, Singles Day has the done the same in China.
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