You might not know about Singles’ Day, but if you’re an eCommerce brand wanting to market internationally, you really can’t afford to ignore it for much longer. Since it became a retail event for the first time in 2009, Singles’ Day has grown by over 1.08 million per cent, with over 900 million Chinese shoppers heading to Alibaba for its two-week event in 2021. Singles’ Day is the biggest shopping event on earth, bigger even than Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so while we in the UK might currently be ignorant to this huge date in the marketing calendar, it’s only a matter of time before it takes over as much of our Q4 planning as BFCM does (remember a time when we didn’t celebrate Black Friday over here? Some of us oldies definitely do).
When is Singles' Day 2023?
Singles' Day is celebrated on the 11th November of every year, which means that Singles' Day 2023 will be celebrated on Saturday, 11th November.
What is the Significance of Singles’ Day?
Singles Day, also known as 11.11 or Double 11, originated in China as an anti-Valentine’s Day celebration. The day’s significance is due to the repetition of the number one, symbolising singleness and independence (and, as a bonus, 11/11 works in every date format, meaning we’re ready to market this date across the globe!). In China, it’s a day of traditions for young people, who attend parties, socialise, or, rather paradoxically, find love. As with all lighthearted holidays, it’s transformed into a humongous shopping extravaganza thanks to eCommerce giant Alibaba.com, who, by offering massive discounts and promotions across an extended period in November, has turned Singles’ Day into a retail powerhouse.
Which Countries Celebrate Singles’ Day?
Although Singles’ Day originated in China in the nineties as a party for single students at Nanjing University, the success of 11.11 as a shopping holiday has led to it travelling across the globe. Southeast Asian eCommerce platform Lazada invested heavily in the holiday in Thailand in 2018, and the event has only grown from there. The day is also celebrated in Indonesia and Malaysia and has been trialled across European countries like Germany and Belgium at their chain MediaMarkt.
A similar version of the day (minus the shopping celebrations) is often celebrated in the UK on 11th March. Despite this, Singles Day discounts still run based on the original Chinese date.
Should My eCommerce Brand be Marketing Singles’ Day?
The obvious answer is yes, of course, but especially if you’re a brand aiming for international success. If you market across multiple territories, Singles’ Day could be just as lucrative as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and can even work in synergy with the two. Look at testing the waters with a smaller version of your big BFCM discounts, or tie in your “Black Friday Month/Cyber Month” plans with Singles’ Day references to connect better with a worldwide audience.
While we do recommend staying away from too many discounts across the year to avoid fatigue in your customers, implementing this discount into your Q4 arsenal could really give your brand that boost across territories that are looking for discounts on this specific day. Remember that there will be customers in certain countries choosing this shopping holiday over ones around Thanksgiving, and a massive part of being an international brand is appealing to customers beyond our Western bubble.
If you’re looking for a digital marketing agency to help you with your Q4 strategy, whether that includes Singles’ Day, Black Friday, Christmas or anything else, we’ve got you covered. From paid social services across Meta, Pinterest and TikTok, to Google Ads and PPC, and even email marketing (for which we’ve just won an award!), we can help you take your business up a notch.
Our eCommerce experience doesn’t end in the UK, either; we’ve been helping businesses grow across Europe, the US, the UAE and Asia, all the way to Australia and back to Manchester in time for tea. Get in touch and see if we can get your ROAS soarin’.