China’s Singles’ Day 2018 Prompts eMarketer Analysis in Mobile Payments Use & Beyond

November 8, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

It’s a holiday that might well catch on throughout the rest of the world: 11 / 11, known as Singles’ Day in China, mainly because there’s four singles right there in the name and all. It prompts a lot of internal gift-giving, even giving just to oneself for being awesome. While this day still has a couple days before it hits yet, eMarketer sent some word our way both looking at last year and predicting this year.

Singles’ Day is big business in China, likely because there are so many singles in China to begin with. Just last year, the day fielded 254 billion renminbi (roughly $36.722 billion US as of this writing), proving how valuable this day is to Chinese retailers. That’s a gain of 45 percent over 2016’s figures, and there’s every indication that it will continue to be a big payday for retailers.

Just this year alone, Alibaba—the guys partially behind Alipay—will generate $889 billion in ecommerce sales, and that’s up 23 percent over 2017 figures. That’s also 58 percent of all the ecommerce that takes place in China, though reports suggest that that share is already on the decline and may continue to do so over the next several years.

Retail ecommerce sales in China figure are poised to hit $1.527 trillion this year, up 34.3 percent from last year to represent 29.1 percent of all retail sales. Retail mobile commerce (m-commerce) done via smartphone or table, meanwhile, is set to rise 38.3 percent to $1.203 trillion, which will represent 78.8 percent of all retail ecommerce sales in the country.

With so much ecommerce, and so much mcommerce, in play, any chance to snag market share must be regarded as a vital one for fear of being left out altogether and steamrolled by Alibaba. Though given reports that Alibaba is starting to lose ground in Chinese e-commerce, it may be that Chinese consumers are actually looking for more choice in the field.

It will be interesting to see if the nascent, burgeoning capitalism of the Chinese retail market catches on throughout China itself. For right now, though, Singles’ Day is one monster of a retail holiday, and a big opportunity for retailers.