By Rieva Lesonsky
Just a few weeks ago we talked about the entrepreneurial opportunities abounding today from marketing to single people. Well, global giant Alibaba actually got a jump on this—and it could benefit entrepreneurs as well.
Several years ago on my first visit to the U.S. office of Alibaba, they told me about the popularity in China of Singles’ Day (a relatively new “holiday” the company created). Singles’ Day (November 11) has gone global, and Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) says it was such a phenomenon it “blew Cyber Monday out of the water.”
WWD reports that last week on Singles’ Day Alibaba took in $9.3 billion in sales, far more than last year’s U.S. Cyber Monday sales of $1.74 billion.
On Singles’ Day retailers offer “deep discounts” on their merchandise. Alibaba is working to take the holiday worldwide, encouraging global merchants to sell to the hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers and, according to WWD, for consumers all over the world to get discounts from Chinese merchants using AliExpress, the company’s global consumer marketplace. (WWD says consumers in 217 countries and regions took part in Singles’ Day.) But on Singles’ Day I noticed marketing emails from American companies as well touting the holiday.
As Alibaba increases its global presence, Singles’ Day is likely to become more popular worldwide. Retailers and e-tailers should consider adding it to their promotions calendar—although here in the U.S., the date competes with Veterans’ Day.