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Singles Day 2017: The Year of Omnichannel Commerce

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Shirley Lu Bio

Singles Day was introduced by Alibaba on 11th Nov. 2009, to celebrate singles awareness with promotional activities on Taobao and Tmall. Following this impactful initiative by Alibaba, an increasing number of internet retailers - including but not limited to JD.com, Suning.com, Vip.com as well as some cross-border e-commerce retailers - commercialised this event by providing large discounts to the merchandises sold via their platforms on this day during previous years, resulting in the rapid improvement of the awareness of this holiday across the nation. After years of evolution, singles day has become a shopping carnival that is well-known by the majority of Chinese consumers and takes place in the online B2C market every 11th Nov. in China.  Singles Day, also known as Double Eleven, has now become a day when everyone, regardless of their single status, celebrates this grand shopping festival.

Singles Day is now the world’s largest shopping event which is attracting many manufacturers. It is estimated that more than CNY 180 billion value were generated online on 11th Nov. 2016 according to the announcement by Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China, among which Alibaba Group reported to record CNY 120.7 billion in GMV (Gross Merchandise Value). The industry is holding great confidence in the Singles Day 2017.

Apparel and footwear, beauty and personal care products as well as electronic appliances enjoyed high level of popularity among consumers. Furthermore, well-known brands across all sectors are expected to receive massive orders as they always offers best discounts at the day within the whole years.

Moreover, with increasing disposable income and improving living standards, consumers in China’s lower-tier cities and rural areas have shown growing purchase power which has been trading-up demand, previously impeded by the low penetration of offline traditional retailing channel. Thanks to the continuous efforts to improve logistics in lower-tier cities and rural areas by leading retailers such as Tmall and JD.com, the lower-tier markets has been one of the new drivers of sales growth.

Along with internet retailers, manufacturers adopted a new omni-channel strategy during Singles Day 2016. Some manufacturers such as Uniqlo provided click and collect options in order to improve delivery efficiency as well as increasing flow to its offline stores. Singles Day is no longer an online-only event, having diversified and internationalised its retailing strategy.

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