Singles’ Day 2021 Recap: Online Retail and Travel Sales Rise YoY in APAC

Our sales data shows a strong Singles' Day for retailers in China and Southeast Asia this year. See which countries and categories won big in 2021.

The world’s largest annual shopping event, Singles’ Day, posted record numbers again this year. Alibaba, which began offering Singles’ Day sales at the beginning of November, said it raked in $84.5 billion in sales from November 1 through the actual event on November 11.1 Though this was a record-breaking amount, it was a smaller year over year increase than in years past (+8% as opposed to +26% last year vs. 2019).

How did other retailers fare this 11/11? We analyzed sales from hundreds of our partner retailers across Greater China and Southeast Asia to see how 2021 compared to 2020. Here’s what we learned:

Greater China: Retail and Travel Sales See Double Digit Growth YoY

In Greater China, retail sales on Singles’ Day were up nearly 20% vs. 2020. Taiwan, in particular, had a strong year, with retail sales that were up 22%.

Singles Day 2021 - Sales in Greater China

When we drilled down to the specific retail categories, it showed that the Apparel category was up 4% vs. 2020. The Lifestyle category grew 22% YoY and all other retail categories combined showed a 30% increase. Overall, retail online sales were up 186% compared to the average during the last week of October 2021. 

Travel sales in Greater China also showed growth, posting a 14% improvement over 2020 numbers.

2023 CTV Advertising Predictions

Explore CTV advertising predictions for 2023 and gain insights for retail success.

Southeast Asia: Massive Growth in Vietnam and Singapore

Southeast Asia recorded a more moderate increase in retail sales, with a 4% jump year over year. There were a few countries within the region, however, that had significant growth year over year, including Vietnam (+35%) and Singapore (+22%). Overall, retail online sales were up 260% compared to the average during the last week of October 2021. 

Singles Day 2021 - Sales in Southeast Asia

Singles Day 2021 - Sales By Country in Southeast Asia

The Lifestyle retail category led the way in the region, generating 19% more sales this Singles’ Day. Consumer Electronics and Apparel also had a strong showing, with +14% and +10% sales, respectively.

Travel sales also saw significant growth at +97% vs. 2020. This is a reflection of the overall recovery of the category throughout the period, not just on Singles’ Day itself. Overall, in APAC, travel bookings were up 20% YoY during the first half of November.

Singles’ Day is Becoming More Popular in Western Countries  

Interestingly, Singles’ Day showed a strong upward trend in Europe this year. Sales were up respectively by 80%, 68%, and 57% in Italy, Spain, and France, compared to the average in the last week of October 2021. Other European countries also showed a significant increase in online sales, such as Germany, the UK, and the Netherlands (35%, 22%, and 16%), where more retailers were driving promotions on 11/11 this year. In the US, a slight uptick of online sales on 11/11 did not seem to be directly related to Singles’ Day.  

Singles Day 2021 - Sales in Europe


For more holiday data and strategies, download The 2021 Holiday Commerce Report:

Ann Pyle

Ann revels in finding the simplest and clearest way to convey a thought. Her favorite word is 'moxie', which she tries to embody whenever possible. She's been developing content strategies and writing for the tech and B2B space for more than a decade. This, along with her SEO and advertising agency ...

Senior Manager Global Content

to our newsletter

Fresh sales trends and consumer insights to help
you plan and win.