Ecommerce News

2020 Singles Day Recap

Singles day is the start of the holiday shopping season. Despite the economic downturn nationwide due to the novel coronavirus China spend more than expected this Singles Day. Here is our recap.


Singles Day, also known at Double 11, was a day created in China to celebrate single-ness! A shopping day created to have a bit of fun quickly has turned into the world’s biggest shopping day. Still not sure what Singles Day is? Read our blog here. Now that Singles Day in the US and in China has come and gone, here is what happened:

  •   Within the first couple of hours of Singles Day Alibaba reported $56 Billion in sales

Singles Day sales in 2019 totaled $38 billion. With this early report of $56 Billion in sales in China alone, everyone is left wondering, why? Considering that the current novel coronavirus has created a strain on economies, experts expected less consumer spending. With restrictions in travel, people who can afford to spend, are spending more since they are not spending their money on travel. China had reported positive economic growth for the second quarter in a row last month which hopefully projects continued economic growth for one of the world’s largest economies.

  •   Total of $75 Billion in Sales

Originally Alibaba was projected to sell $45 Billion all day. Though Single Days sales generally go longer than just 24 hours, the 24-hour window is what everyone looks to. Within 24 hours, Alibaba sold $75 billion in goods and services. That is a 50.67% increase in sales from 2019s Singles Day.

  •   Luxury U.S. Brand Coach saw Singles day Rise of 700%

In years past, Chinese residents would travel to the United States, Australia, and England during the holidays and Chinese New Years where they would purchase luxury goods specific to those countries. With closed borders and travel restrictions Chinese consumers are shopping for luxury brands through Alibaba. Coach, a US brand, saw a single day rise of 700%. Within the first hour they grossed $1.51 million, which was more than their overall sales the year before.

  •   Anti-Consumerism vs. Singles Day

This year in hopes of increasing sales on Singles Day, and Alibaba pushed Singles Day to include 11 full days of savings. On top of that, there was a major push in advertising by both companies. NetEase Strictly Select (an online retailer owned by the internet company NetEase) released a short film that was a parody on luxury brand commercials. This parody was shared through multiple channels creating hashtags #ConceptofConsumptionOfModernYoungsters and #ConsumernotConsumerism. There are companies and individuals in China who are focusing on conscious spending. Conscious spending focuses on keeping shopping economically friendly and reducing impulse spending. Though it seems like conscious buying was not on the mind of consumers during Singles Day, the fight is not over for activists. Jing Daily wrote an amazing piece about the battle between the two theories. Click here to read that article to learn more!

  • reported close to $43.17 billion in revenue is second to Alibaba in e-commerce marketplaces in China. Together Alibaba and collectively generated close to $116 billion in GMV (gross merchandise value). Last year, Singles Day revenue was $31.17 billion.  

  •       Foreign Brands were the Big Focus this Year

Sellers on both platforms in order were the United States, Australia, Germany, Japan and South Korea. Alibaba said that 250,000 brands participated in Singles day and 30,000 of those brands were from overseas. CNBC spoke to the president of Alibaba, who said that over $5 billion of their $74.1 billion GMV came from U.S. brands.

  •       Focus on the Lower Tier and Alibaba both say that Singles Day is not and was not about raising revenue in the short term but rather obtaining new customers. This year, both companies have said that they have been focusing on so-called “lower tier” Chinese cities which usually have more price-sensitive consumers. They both believe that this is a critical part to their growth. CEO of JD retail told CNBC in an interview, “man brands have come to realize the huge size of the Chinese market, so they customize products for lower-tier cities by leveraging JD’s data and our supply chain capabilities.”

Singles Day in China was a momentous day and the official start to the holiday shopping season. Ecommerce has been proven supreme in the face of this pandemic. The almost 51% GMV growth for Alibaba was beyond expectation. Will the US see similar growth come Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

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