Editor’s Choice: Singles Day – A Retail Revolution

singles day

singles dayNote: Today’s post is part of our “Editor’s Choice” series where we highlight recent posts published by our sponsors that provide supply chain insights and advice. This article is from Audrey Dong, from KNAPP, and looks at e-commerce in China and the impact of Singles Day.

E-commerce in China has developed rapidly in the past decades, with currently over 25% of total retail sales generated online. Especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers are increasingly shifting from offline to online shopping and the e-commerce market is expected to grow from about $2.1 trillion in 2021 to $3.0 trillion in 2024.

Omnichannel provides a seamless and convenient shopping experience, by simply clicking consumers can place orders anytime, anywhere and get the products the same day or next day. Meanwhile, livestreaming is becoming the hottest trend in selling products online, and is expected grow by 95.5% this year. Digitalization and development of logistics technology are the driving force behind the scenes, which are even more obvious at the peak time.

Double 11 witnesses record-breaking online sales

Double 11 (AKA Singles Day), known as the biggest online shopping festival in the world, was originally initiated by Alibaba on Nov.11th in 2009 and subsequently adopted by other e-commerce platforms and retailers. With the shopping fever generated by customers nationwide, double 11 generates breaking sales records each year. For example, the gross merchandise volume of Alibaba Tmall has increased from $5 billion in 2013 to $78 billion in 2020 as below chart. In comparison, the total sales of Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the US was around $19.8 billion in 2020. Though Tmall accounts for about 50% of the total Chinese B2C E-commerce market share, China’s large population and the growing middle class offer big consumption potential.

Moreover, the 2021 Double 11 Festival was the largest to date, with over $139 billion of sales generated in major E-commerce platforms like Tmall and JD.com. In the past the event was only held on Nov.11th. This year’s event featured two sales windows on Nov.1-3 and Nov.11. It also included the pre-sale for teh first sales window starting on October 20th to allow consumers to secure orders by paying a deposit, with the balance to be paid on the official sales date. For example, JD’s Single Day Grand Promotion started at 8pm on Oct.31st, with 190 million products sold within 4 hours.

The fragmented and complex orders generate pressure on  logistics to handle billions of parcels. Even in the COVID 19 environment, a total of around 675 million parcels for orders from all online platforms were delivered during double 11 in 2020, and the volume is estimated to increase yearly by 26%.

To read the full article, click HERE.

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