11:11 – Origin, how it became to be a major day for eCommerce and its impact.
In China, the digit “1” symbolises an individual, a single person.
The number “11” symbolises two individuals finding each other and being together.
2 x “11” a celebration of two or more couples, each comprising two single individuals finding each other on the special date “11.11”.
The eCommerce of 11:11 stems from the term “Singles Day” when in 1993, four men from Nanjing University, China (Mingcaowuzhu dormitory) could break away from the monotony of being single and agreed that 11 November would be a day of events and celebrations in honor of being single.
Events took place throughout Nanjing University, spreading to other universities, then society and once social media took hold of this it became increasingly popular among Chinese society.
The event is not an officially recognized public holiday in China, although it has become the largest offline and online shopping day in the world.
Rebranding of Singles Day to 11:11
In 2009 a major southeast Asian marketplace launched its first Singles Shopping Day event offering huge discounts across various brands which saw great success and has now become a commercial day for the whole society. This is now rebranded as 11:11.
The Top-selling categories sold on 11:11 include electronics, cosmetics, beauty items, and fashion.
Some interesting stats for this major shopping event from Southeast Asia in 2019:
In 2019, 90% of 11:11 sales came from smartphones.
The region’s Internet economy is expected to surpass USD 50 billion by 2025, exceeding earlier estimates of growth.
In China, 802 million individuals (57.7% of the population) are active Internet users. 788 million Internet users access it through mobile. That’s 98% of the country’s total user base.
Over the past few years, we have also started to see many other countries adding Singles Day / 11:11 to their retail calendar.
The German-based Media Markt, one of Europe’s largest consumer electronics retailers now promotes Singles Day at their stores.
The biggest Dutch eCommerce site, bol.com, began participating in Singles Day in 2017. These sales proved to be the busiest Saturday of 2017 for the business. In 2019, the business expanded its Singles Day sales into a six-day event.
In 2016, Swedish electronics retailer Elgiganten promoted a Singles Day campaign in Norway before implementing it in the other Nordic countries the following year.
In Switzerland, over 60 different online stores participated in Singles Day in 2019 and some of their biggest online retailers have incorporated the day into their holiday sales.
One of the difficulties for Singles Day expanding into the European market is that November 11th is already Armistice Day, a day to commemorate the armistice agreement that ended the First World War on Monday, November 11, 1918, at 11 a.m.
However, the potential revenue and brand awareness to be gained from the multibillion event are pushing some British retailers to take part.
In 2015 for instance, Topshop saw sales increase by 900% during Singles’ Day.
CrescoData 11:11 Statistics 2019-2020
As we know, during the Covid-19 pandemic this has also changed consumer behaviour, with a significantly higher percentage of population indoors, this has increased the number of people online. In addition, people have increased their online spending due to travel bans and are now also willing to pay higher prices for products they would have usually purchased whilst travelling.
Here are at CrescoData, we certainly saw a huge increase for 11:11 with orders increasing by a whopping 500% from 2019 and the amount spent over the sale weekend reaching almost $1 million dollars a day across the SE Asian marketplaces that CrescoData supports.