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Cyber Monday, Singles’ Day and Double 12 – The Invention of the Retail Holiday

This year Cyber Monday saw US sales of $2.29 Billion, making it the largest shopping day in the US. However China has its own version which is actually bigger than Cyber Monday.

In China, November 11th is Singles’ Day, named after 11/11 which consists of 4 single 1s. Originally a university holiday, it later became popular throughout Chinese society. 5 years ago, in 2008, retailer Alibaba made a push to turn Singles’ Day into a shopping holiday with record results.

This year, after 5 years of explosive growth, Nov 11th saw a record $5.75 billion in sales (NY times). Two and a half times the amount of sales the US had on Cyber Monday. Alibaba’s sites received 402 million unique visitors, representing more than 33% of the adult population in China. Compared with the US Cyber Monday at 131 million (NBC) Americans, it’s easy to see that China’s Singles’ Day has significantly more visitors and revenue.

 

Now, Alibaba the company responsible for making Singles’ Day the biggest eCommerce day in the world, is trying to create another shoppers holiday: Double 12. December 12th nicknamed “Double 12” by Alibaba is a sales event “aimed at giving more exposure to small and medium-sized retailers and encouraging them to improve the quality of products and services offered online.”  (SCMP)

Although a brand new holiday, more than 2 million online retailers joined the “double 12” shopping festival. Alibaba did not release traffic or revenue results from this first year but stressed that the nature of the December 12 event is different from November 11.

It’ll be interesting to see if December 12th can gain as much traction as Singles’ Day. As the internet is enabling commerce to be more interconnected, will there be a new international shopping day to become the first global Singles’ Day or Cyber Monday? What’s the busiest day for eCommerce in your country?

Image credit:http://www.sxc.hu/profile/sinoreport on sxc.hu

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