Double Eleven (11.11, or 11 Nov), a.k.a. Singles’ Day Festival is a global shopping event initiated by Alibaba and adopted by other e-commerce platforms and retailers.

Another major annual shopping festival in China is 618.

Consumers can expect the largest discount of the year during Double 11 while businesses expect a significant portion of annual revenues from this shopping festival sales.

Double 11 Sales & GMV

In 2019, Alibaba’s gross merchandise volume (GMV) for the whole Double 11 event came in at 268.4 billion yuan (USD $38.4 billion), an increase of 26 percent from the previous year.

Check out Alibaba Double 11 GMV historical stats here.

It’s the Singles’ Day Promotion or Double Eleven (Double 11) Promotion in China when retailers and merchants expect the largest single-day or single-month sales in a year.

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Check out Alibaba Double 11 GMV historical stats here.

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Historical Double 11 trends & sales data

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History of Double Eleven in China

Double 11 has become a special festival in recent years. With four characters of “1”, this date is known as Singles’ Day in China.

With heavy promotions from businesses such as Alibaba, it has become now widely known as Double Eleven (or Double 11), signaling the most popular shopping festival among Chinese consumers.

Singles’ Day in China

The promotion started for celebrating Singles’ Day in China. Singles’ Day was known in some parts of China as an unofficial festival for the bachelors before businesses started pushing for consumption and it became a nationwide festival.

On this day, young people will hold singles’ parties to match couples or simply have fun. Some choose to end their single life status by showing love or proposing for marriage.

Alibaba Taobal Double 11 Campaign

In 2009, Alibaba held the first Double Eleven Shopping Festival on Taobao.com, storming the online shopping for the very first time.

Three years later, with the coming 2012’s Singles’ Day sales event, more than 10,000 businesses, cooperating with e-commerce sites, were poised to rock the shopping festival again.

Participants took action to meet this festival. Some apparel manufacturers began to hoard products for this winter from August. And they made full preparation for supplying chains and staff arrangements.

China Express Association organized “Double Eleven” meetings to discuss measurements.  Major logistics companies like EMS, Shentong, Yuantong, Home Delivery…  recruit thousands of new staff to meet the need of peak online shopping periods.

Double 11 Singles’ Day Promotions on Major Online Retail Websites

Big promotions in the name of celebrating Double 11 Singles’ Day usually start at the very beginning of November with huge discounts and giveaways lined up.

Some shopping platforms start early; 360buy (JD) started its one-month “Desert Storm” Promotions on Oct 10, offering coupons which value 50 million Yuan in total.

Suning started promotions called “Zero Purchasing Within 300-hundred Yuan”. After spending 300 hundred yuan on suning.com, consumers could get coupons with the same value. Coupons could also be used in more than 1700 offline Suning stores.

Gome Online Mall continuingly made efforts to supply goods at reduced prices, which scaled 1 billion Yuan in total, lowering the online prices for approximately 40%.

Tmall advanced rushing purchases of coupons. Successive rounds of promotions are started at 10:00, 14:00, 20:00 every day until Bachelor’s Day. Besides Tmall, Alibaba supported Taobao to take part in this shopping festival. More than 10,000 businesses are involved, which is 5 times that compared to last year.

Moreover, Dangdang has fired its “Flash Promotions” from Nov 9, which will also last until Nov 11. In the meantime, it will celebrate its third anniversary.

Double 11 in China going beyond price wars

You may wonder what the driving force of these crazy promotions is. Singles’ Day Promotion may be the most important timing to achieve annual revenue goals.

Take Suning as an example. According to its latest quarterly financial report, it achieved sales of 9.5 billion yuan in the last 3 quarters. Though representing an increase, there is a huge gap between the present performances with its sales goal of 20 billion Yuan. Year-end promotions are quite significant for Suning.

Basically, e-commerce cannot break away from the essence of retailing. Besides prices, they also compete on product varieties, users’ experience and resources. That is to say, this war is not only a challenge for promotion ability but also a test of storage, logistics, and capitals.

Both of Gome and Suning joined their online and offline channels, leading the whole industry to develop in the department store-oriented way.

Dangdang launched its store on Tmall as a flagship store of books and commodities. Previously, YHD, New Egg, and Yintai had stepped into Tmall. Suning officially acquired the Red Child as well as drew in Vancl and LAFASO, from which we can see its ambition to capture commodities categories.

If your business offers online purchases to Chinese consumers, November’s Bachelor’s Day should definitely be part of your annual sales strategy. Of course, it does not necessarily mean you should join the competition. But, if you do, timing and preparation are crucial to achieving successful Double 11 sales.

Double 11 FAQ

What is Double 11 in China?

Double Eleven is the largest shopping festival in China; also known as the “Bachelor’s Day Promotion” or Singles Day Promotion (Double 11) in China. Double 11 starts in October and reaches its peak on 11 November.

What does Double 11 mean?

“Double 11” refers to 11.11 or 11 November. “11” is the Chinese of the month November and hence the “Double 11”.

When did the Double 11 Festival Start?

In 2009, Alibaba held the first Double Eleven Shopping Festival on Taobao.com, storming the online shopping for the very first time. Three years later, with coming 2012’s Bachelor’s Day, more than 10,000 businesses, cooperating with e-commerce sites, are poised to rock the shopping festival again. Now all online and offline retailers participate in this shopping festival.

How big is Double 11 Promotion?

Double 11 shopping festival offers Chinese consumers the largest promotion every year. Retailers and e-commerce companies rely a lot on this annual promotion for reaching huge revenues growth.

What marketing tactics are popular for Double 11?

Marketing is getting more complicated for Double 11, going beyond advertisements. Popular channels include Weibo, WeChat, online video, display ads, affiliates, etc. In recent years, live streaming and short videos are gaining popularity as an important channel for sales conversions.

In 2018, Viya, the so-called Taobao blogger who “earn a house in one night”, broke her own record in this year’s Tmall Double 11 with over 300 million yuan in sales. Check out 4 e-tailers’ Double 11 marketing tactics in 2018.

Double 11 Sales & Insights

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