China Singles Day 2020 (aka “11/11”) has come and gone. We’re going to skip the usual “look at the huge numbers” – they are always huge – and instead focus on how it was structurally different in this unprecedented year.
Less hype but more livestreaming
Overall, 2020 marked the lowest hype of any recent China Singles Day in recent years because of the continued impact of the coronavirus worldwide. While China’s economy has been doing better than almost any major economy in the world since it brought the virus under control within its borders, Chinese consumer activity has been one of the last areas of the economy to come around towards pre-pandemic levels. Platforms and vendors seem to have grasped this, and toned down marketing this year around the sales event.
On the other hand, as we’ve seen throughout the year, livestreaming celebrities continued to be a central focus – and driver – of online sales. The demand has been so high for some of these celebrities leading up to China Singles Day 2020, that some outlets used up to 50 additional hosts for one channel!
More time to shop and more platforms for China Singles Day
To both spur more activity and lessen the load on delivery bottlenecks, the largest ecommerce platforms – Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall, as well as JD.com – started their November 11 China Singles Day sales on November 1 this year. Yesterday, they were joined by many other platforms, including Suning, VIP.com and Pin Duo Duo domestically, as well as some global platforms including Mytheresa, Net-a-Porter and Fartech.
Offline & enterprise continue to jump onboard
Real estate and car dealership showrooms continued to move towards alignment with online sales this year, with over 3,000 real estate projects in over 200 cities working with Tmall for promotions. JD.com and Suning also worked with realtors, with some realtors offering a limited number of apartments for as much as 50-70% off of the listing price.
On the enterprise side, Alibaba’s cloud service, Aliyun, was offering discounts to companies, and we expect to see more of this kind of synergy in the future for enterprise software, IoT, mobile and healthcare tech providers in the future.