Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) set a new record for sales on Singles’ Day this year. The Chinese ecommerce giant sold $25.3 billion in merchandise, a mark that’s 39 percent higher than sales from last year’s Singles’ Day.
The annual shopping holiday is a growing phenomenon in China. It’s a day for single people to celebrate being single by buying gifts for themselves. The day, November 11, was chosen because it has no social significance in China and when written out in numbers, all those 1’s are perfect symbolism for a day that celebrates singles.
For U.S. small businesses, Singles’ Day might not even be on your radar. But this new record means it could be time to pay attention. In fact, expanding into the Chinese market using online platforms like those offered by Alibaba offers a ton of opportunities for small businesses to grow.
Singles Day Sales Takeaways for Small Businesses
Beyond that, Singles’ Day also highlights the potential of promotional holidays. Alibaba has continued to increase promotions for Singles’ Day year after year. And it has shown in the company’s sales. So if you want to grow your small business using a similar tactic, you could latch onto a lesser known holiday like Drink Beer Day or Wonderful Weirdos Day and offer special promotions to go along with those holidays and make them your own.
Or you could go another route and just make up your own holiday. Amazon has made use of this tactic in recent years with its Prime Day promotions. Prime Day sales haven’t gotten to the level of Singles’ Day yet. But it has grown every year so far. So there’s definitely potential for businesses of all sizes to grow using special holiday themed promotions.
If you’re interested in making use of this tactic, pick a date with no social significance to your target customers and consider the time of year when you really want to increase sales. For instance, an ecommerce business could create a holiday in the summer months when sales tend to slump.
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