Dec 10, 2013
As with other countries, convenience is one of the main factors driving mobile shopping, explained Tiffana Pun, VP and head of strategic planning at Draftfcb Greater China. “Shopping on mobile devices allows people to shop from any place at any time they want and lets them search for the right product for the best price,” Pun noted. Crowdsourcing comments from friends and checking online reviews before making a purchase are also common, according to Pun. “Our mobile shoppers are heavily influenced by reviews and recommendations from friends in the choice of products they are not familiar with,” she said. “They think product reviews are more trustworthy than a salesperson.”
Single and married Chinese consumers are expected to spend $5 billion Monday, spending more online today than American consumers will on Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. According to the Xinhua News Agency, Alibaba processed $3.1 billion in transactions last year. Eric Wong, managing director for Greater China at Possible, commented, “Chinese people love to shop. If you have the right excuse and the right occasion, they will spend money. One of the tactics to get people to buy is to create a more festive occasion.” We love window-shopping in the local department store,” Ms. Yuan said. “But we have never spent so much money in one day. Never!”
According to Alibaba, the first six minutes of transactions topped one billion yuan, or $160 million. In 2012, in took 37 minutes to reach one billion yuan and Tmall expects this growth to continue as China’s internet penetration rate in only at 45 percent. Xiaomi and Bestseller were two of the first companies to generate 100 million yuan in sales this morning. Vice President of Greater China at Microsoft Isaiah Cheung noted, “On our website, traffic tripled in the last five days, and we’re hoping to see a month’s worth of sales happening in one single day.”
Bigger than Cyber Monday (which notched up US $1.46 billion in sales last November) and bigger than China’s National Day “Golden Week,” China’s Singles Day (“光棍节”) also known as “1111″ as it falls on 11/11, has become the the biggest online shopping day of the year— worldwide. This year’s event was expected to break all previous records, and that it swiftly did. Spurred by deals such as online discounts on BMWs , a pre-holiday poll by Weibo parent Sina.com , found that greater than 60 percent planned to participate in online sale shopping on 11/11 while “less than 15 per cent were certain that they could resist the sales.”
As a commerce generator, Singles Day is unparalleled and it’s no surprise western brands want a piece of the action. In addition to foreign products from diapers to luxury watches being popular discounted 11/11 purchased, brands with their own Taobao stores like Gap, Microsoft and Adidas have all gotten in on what has become the world’s leading online shopping event. While heavy discounts are the norm on Singles Day, the frenzy offers brands a perfect opportunity to introduce themselves and hook customers that will come back durting the year to shop more.