China has 271 million online consumers, meaning that almost half of China's 591 million Internet users buy products online. E-commerce sites Taobao and Tmall, which saw a combined $$1 trillion in sales in 2012, will both be running promotional campaigns during China's Singles' Day. Among the offers: 50 percent discounts on products like boyfriend body pillows and hoodies that read "I am single because I am fat." Amazon。cn declared that the site would sell "20,000 products discounted by as much as 90 percent." That includes a wedding ring, which singles can presumably buy, just in case.
Jack Ma, founder of Internet giant Alibaba, told Chinese Premier Li Keqiang late last month that Alibaba's sales on Singles' Day 2012 were "nearly $$3.3 billion" -- more than double the roughly $$1.5 billion purchased on Cyber Monday in 2012. For Singles' Day 2013, Ma expects sales to exceed $$4.9 billion.
The rise of singletons as a consumer group is not without its own costs. Chinese business magazine Caijing reported that big delivery companies were forced to scramble to find over 100 extra airplanes to handle the 323 million parcels they needed to deliver over the Singles' Day shopping period.
The holiday strains the logistics system: Products frequently sell out or arrive late. Even when everything moves smoothly, consumers complain about commercial gimmicks. According to the Beijing Evening News, a popular local paper, some online retailers quietly raise prices before slashing them.
But Chinese have not forgotten about the true meaning of this holiday: hating singlehood. Singles' Day is an occasion on which Chinese confess their feelings and try to find significant others. On Nov. 7, with four days to go before the holiday, the top trending topic on Weibo, China's Twitter, was "Help Your Roommate Find Someone." Over 200,000 people participated in the discussion, posting pictures of their roommates (and sometimes themselves) in hopes of avoiding another lonely Singles' Day.
Chinese are no strangers to loneliness: There are tens of millions of men in China who may never find love due to the country's massive gender imbalance, a result of the One Child Policy and a longstanding preference for male children. Chinese women don't have it easy either: Those who remain unmarried at the ripe old age of 27 risk being labeled "leftover women".
Although poverty and singledom are often linked outcomes in China, at least one web user was sure of which was worse. "Spending Singles' Day alone isn't that scary," he wrote. "What's scary is when you're so poor you can't even enjoy Taobao's ‘Double 11.'" Retail therapy indeed.
Online retailer Alibaba says it sold $$2bn of goods in the first hour of China's annual "Singles' Day".
That compares to $$3.1bn in sales seen in the first half of last year's event - considered the world's biggest online retail sales day.
It compares with "Cyber Monday" in the US - the day after Thanksgiving marketed as a big online shopping day.
Alibaba said it expected to break sales records during the annual event, offering big discounts to boost sales.
"I bet the number [of goods bought] is going to be scary," said Alibaba's executive chairman Jack Ma last week. He estimated that 200 million packages would be shipped from orders made during the day.
Last year, Alibaba shipped more than 150 million packages or about $$5.75bn in gross merchandise volume.
Singles' Day in China was adopted by Alibaba in 2009 to boost sales, but dates back to at least 1993, when students at Nanjing University are believed to have chosen the date as an anti-Valentine's Day where single people could buy things for themselves.
Since then, it has gone on to become a massive day of sales for China's fast growing e-commerce market.
The market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 25% over the next few years, from $$390bn in 2014 to $$718bn in 2017, according to a recent study released by management consulting firm AT Kearney.
网络购物狂欢节On-line Shopping Carnival
When it comes to November 11, what’s on your mind? Well, as to the old generations, it’s only an ordinary day; however, the young generations will consider it as the Singles’ Day as well as the on-line shopping carnival. In fact, on November 11th, 2013, Tmall and Taobao (the biggest Chinese online shopping platform) has sold out more than 35 billion Yuan goods, this data has astonished the media at home and abroad. Apparently, people have more interests on cyber shopping than spend the night with their single friends. Some home media even suggest that November 11th should be the Chinese on-line shopping carnival.
In 2010, Jack Ma, the CEO of Tmall and Taobao, had coined the term “Double Eleven”, aimed to encourage the single people to do something to celebrate their own festival. Instead of dating lovers, people go on-line shopping to relive the loneliness. According to the survey, China had 564 million Internet users at the end of last year and 180 million single people. And the single people are the main force of the China’s spending power. The debut was a great success. Then “11.11” has an unusual meaning, which stands for on-line shopping carnival.
Comparing with the traditional shopping, the cyber shopping has more distinguish features, which quite fit the young generations’ taste. People do not need to go outside, just click their mouse, the goods will be home. The best part is you can do it anywhere, anytime. All you need is a credit card. What we can predict in the future is that on-line shopping is not going to fade away, instead, it will boost like the mushrooms after spring rains.