'Singles Day' has shoppers ready to spend big

Updated: 2013-11-10 23:54

By Hu Yuanyuan (China Daily)

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'Singles Day' has shoppers ready to spend big

A Taobao vendor takes care of orders in Yiwu, Zhejiang province, on Thursday as Double Eleven Shopping Festival nears. [LYU BIN / FOR CHINA DAILY]

Chinese consumers will spend on average 1,800 yuan ($295) per person during Double Eleven Shopping Festival, according to AdMaster, an independent third-party digital marketing data analysis and management solution provider.

The Nov 11 online shopping spree in the name of "Singles Day", a celebration for single people, has become China's most popular annual commercial event and created an e-commerce miracle.

Singles Day became 24 hours of crazy online shopping when Alibaba Group, operator of e-commerce platforms Taobao and Tmall, launched its first sales campaign on Nov 11, 2009.

Since then, Singles Day sales at Tmall snowballed from 50 million yuan in 2009 to 19.1 billion in 2012, and are expected to top 30 billion this year.

In an AdMaster survey, almost 40 percent of respondents expect to spend more than 1,000 yuan on the day. In 2012, Tmall recorded transactions of 19.1 billion yuan on the day.

"The festival is not merely about a day or several days of online sales promotion. Brands should therefore effectively tie in marketing and sales by making use of insights from big data to fine-tune their marketing strategy as well as enhancing their sales conversion rate," said AdMaster's CEO Vincent Yan.

AdMaster's data shows that the promotion strategy of a brand at an early stage can affect consumers' purchase decisions both directly and indirectly.

"Our survey results indicate consumers in general accept the sales promotions for the festival, while different brands are eager to utilize e-commerce platforms to increase their sales revenue," Yan added.

The online survey showed Tmall has the highest level of interest by consumers, as it is the e-commerce platform that puts the greatest effort into sales promotion. The level of interest has increased by 13.1 percent compared to usual days.

Taobao, JD and Suningyigou, another three e-commerce platforms, also rank highly in terms of consumer interest.

In contrast, the level of interest for Dangdang and Amazon were found to be lower than on other days, which correlates to the core product category (mainly books) of their business operations.

The survey results show the products consumers most focus on and plan to purchase are apparel and accessories, mobile phones and digital products, and home electrical appliances.

"Brands should focus on sales volume as well as brand image while marketing their products during the festival," said Wilson Chen, AdMaster's vice-president. "The control of logistics, service and product quality during the festival are key to brand communication."

In 2012, China's e-commerce industry was worth 8.1 trillion yuan, with online shopping contributing 1.3 trillion yuan, according to the Ministry of Commerce. More than 2.2 million Chinese worked for the country's rapidly expanding e-commerce industry as of June, People's Daily reported.

According to the 2013 Global Private Equity Report by Grant Thornton, 64 percent of Chinese respondents are optimistic about investment opportunities in consumer-focused sectors.

Xinhua contributed to this story.