It's the eve of the biggest online shopping day of the year. But it isn't Black Friday, Thanksgiving or Cyber Monday. By far, it's Single's Day, an event created by Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba as a day for single people to treat themselves on November 11 (11/11). Last year, Single's Day saw $18 billion worth of sales, which dwarfs the $7 billion in U.S. sales for Black Friday, Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday combined.
It's expected that 2017 sales will be even higher with over 120,000 transactions per second at its peak and 1 billion deliveries between November 11 and 16. Not wanting to miss out on the opportunity, over 140,000 brands are set to take part this year, including over 60,000 international brands.
The fast growth of Singles Day mirrors the overall growth of ecommerce in China. Chinese consumers will surpass $750 billion in online purchases in 2017 with 24% of all retail purchases now happening online. This number expected to double to $1.7 trillion by 2020 and account for over a third of all retail purchases. When surveyed, 83% of digital Chinese consumers reported that they had bought at least one item online in the last month.
Another trend where China is ahead of the curve is the use of mobile commerce. There are over 800 million mobile users in China with an average revenue per user of $760. Over 80% of Single's Day purchases last year were made on mobile devices. This makes having an optimized mobile shopping and checkout experience vital to effectively reach Chinese shoppers.
For companies actively looking to sell online or enable resellers in China, it is imperative to work with an ecommerce provider that supports global ecommerce. This includes having IP and browser preference detection capabilities so that carts automatically display in the right language with the shopper's local currency.
It is also important to be able to accept the preferred methods of payment in different countries. The top payment methods in China include Alipay and Union Pay which together account for 57% of online payments. For companies looking to grow in the Chinese market by leveraging resellers and other partnerships, the ability to automate partner tracking and payouts is also a serious consideration.