Even in an uncertain year, Singles’ Day was one of the largest shopping events of 2020 to date and caused huge sales spikes around the world. Alibaba, the main purveyor of the event, reported that it broke records again this year, bringing in about $75 billion. This includes sales from a pre-Singles’ Day event held November 1-3 to help boost profits.
Singles’ Day began as an annual celebration of singledom in China on 11/11 more than a decade ago and has since morphed into a massive online shopping event. It has also spread beyond the borders of China, driving sales spikes in other areas across the globe that have adopted the event.
With the state of the pandemic changing by the day in regions around the world, we wanted to understand where Singles’ Day sales came from this year. To that end, we analyzed more than 200,000,000 global transactions from October 1–November 12. The data in the following charts compares sales on 11/11 to the average from October 1-28, 2020.
Here’s what we learned about Singles’ Day shopping trends:
Malaysia Goes Big on Singles’ Day
Our data shows that sales in Malaysia were up 600% on 11/11 vs. the average in October. Thailand was second in overall sales with an increase of more than 300%.
Singles’ Day Popularity is Growing in Australia
Australia’s own shopping event, Click Frenzy, happened just one day prior to Singles’ Day on November 10. It clearly got shoppers in the mood for deal hunting: The sales spike on Singles’ Day was close to that of Click Frenzy, with sales up 46% over the average in October. The event hasn’t caught on as much in New Zealand, which saw a much smaller sales lift of 17% on 11/11.
Some LATAM Countries Saw Significant Increases
Mexico and Brazil both had elevated sales on 11/11, with 127% and 49% increases, respectively. Mexico’s earlier increases can also be attributed to a sales event called El Buen Fin, which typically spans several days in mid-November as a way to kick off the holiday season.
Singles’ Day is Strong in Europe
The sales event has a strong foothold in European countries. There are obvious sales spikes across Europe on 11/11, including France (111%), Norway (89%), Italy (68%), and Germany (43%).
There’s Room to Grow in America
In the US, there was a small 13% lift in sales on 11/11. The event is still new but beginning to gain some popularity. And according to our data, retailers that ran specific 11/11 promotions saw very significant spikes.
Popular Singles’ Day Product Categories
What did shoppers buy on 11/11? Here’s what our data from more than 20 countries and 600 product categories shows:
- In Germany and France, toys and games (+171% in Germany, +862% in France); electronics (+112% in Germany); and software (+476% in France) had the biggest increases by far.
- In Australia, all categories saw huge growth, but apparel and accessories led the pack, up 164%, followed by food and beverage (+139%), and toys and games (+136%).
- In Mexico, health and beauty was the winning category, with sales surging to +767% on 11/11. Furniture was next at +441%.
- Southeast Asia also saw increases in all product categories, with apparel and accessories up the most at +325%, followed by arts and entertainment at +258%.