Popularised by e-commerce giant Alibaba in 2009, Singles’ Day in China has now become the world’s biggest online retail sales day, eclipsing all other promotions days including Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In fact, last year Alibaba recorded four times more sales on Singles’ Day than 4,200 retailers combined did in the US on Black Friday.
Alibaba started with around 27 merchants taking part in the promotions in 2009 but has since increased the number of participating vendors 1,000 times to include 27,000 last year. For 2015, this figure is set to increase again by as much as 50% with more than 40,000 vendors expected to participate.
“There’s no doubt that China Singles’ Day spend this year will be bigger than ever illustrating the buying power of the Chinese consumer and the increasing prominence of the date in the Chinese retail calendar,” said David McCorquodale, UK Head of Retail at KPMG.
“Even the recent slowdown of the Chinese economy is still not stalling sufficiently to hold back on the growth predictions for this year,” added McCorquodale. “Last year it took just over 30 minutes for Alibaba to record the first $1 billion of sales, and with retailers beginning pre-sales initiatives as early as mid-October, we’ll no doubt see this record beaten for 2015.”
“What’s more, China’s e-commerce market is predicted to grow to $1 trillion in the next 2-3 years, and with the Chinese government reducing tariffs on selected consumer goods in order to spur consumption, Singles’ Day spend is likely continue to soar in years to come.”
KPMG’s latest report on China’s Connected Consumers revealed that Chinese consumers are increasingly looking outside local vendors for international bargains. Seeking to capitalise on this trend, more than 5,000 brands from outside China are signed up to participate and British retailers with operations in China are also looking to take advantage of the spending frenzy on 11.11.
Added to this, Alibaba’s cross-border digital department store, Tmall Global, launched last year will play a key part in this year’s Singles’ Day as it allows brands without a China business license to sell online to Chinese consumers.
“Despite the fact that more and more international brands are participating in the promotions, so far Singles’ Day has not been adopted elsewhere in the world” said McCorquodale. “Being on Remembrance Day will stall its entry to the UK and in the US 11.11 is Veterans Day, also a significant day of remembrance and contemplation.
“However, we have already seen the success of Black Friday spreading outside the US, and with a high number of Chinese families living overseas as well as the increasing ownership of international businesses by Chinese corporates, it might not be long until we find Singles’ Day is a fixture in the global retail calendar.”
To access a full online copy of KPMG’s China's Connected Consumers report, please click here.
Notes to editors:
Jess Liebmann, KPMG Corporate Communications
T: +44 (0)207 311 3245
M: +44 (0)7551 135 778
KPMG Press office: +44 (0)207 694 8773
Follow us on twitter: @kpmguk
KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 12,000 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.9 billion in the year ended September 2014. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 155 countries and has 162,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.