24. november 2017
Move Over, Black Friday
Chinese consumers have spent billions of dollars shopping online for anything from diapers to diamonds on 'Singles Day', a day of promotions that has grown into the world's biggest e-commerce event.
The day-after-Thanksgiving shopping bonanza known as Black Friday is coming up on November 24. It all started in 1952 as a kick-off to the Christmas shopping season, and has since become one of the biggest shopping events of the year, on a global scale. Recently, Black Friday has mutated into to a 5-day shopping marathon, beginning on Thanksgiving Thursday and ending on Cyber Monday.
The Black Friday saga is massive revenue driver for retailers, both online and off. But there’s something even bigger than Black Friday, and it only takes one day instead of five: Singles Day.
Most western consumers haven’t heard of Singles Day, which is a Chinese celebration occurring on November 11 and dating back to 1993. On this day, singles are encouraged to celebrate their independence by buying themselves something nice. Just how big is Singles Day? This year, USD 25.3 billion was generated in online sales alone, as compared to 17.8 billion in 2016 (that’s a 39% increase). The Black Friday epoch ‘only’ generated 12.8 billion in online sales in 2016.
The rise of Singles Day makes me wonder: Is there room for another shopping holiday of this scale? Could we conceive of an occasion even bigger and more profitable than both Black Friday and Singles Day? My bet would be on something like a global “Self Day” (but with a better name), where people would be encouraged to buy themselves an extravagant gift in an act of self-appreciation.
In any case, it seems people are still highly motivated by marketing which guides them to shop on specific dates — especially if discounts are involved.