The Double 11 festival – so called because it is held on November 11 each year – began life in the early 1990s as a day for singles to spend money on themselves, possibly as a rival to Valentine’s Day for couples. November 11 was chosen as it is the one date in the year that has four 1s (representing singles). Many people celebrate the day with ‘bachelor’ parties, or even ending their single life by proposing marriage.

In recent years, Double 11 has grown into a big shopping event, and in 2009 e-commerce giant Alibaba launched the Double 11 online shopping festival. Today, this festival is one of the biggest – if not THE biggest – online sales events in the world, generating billions of dollars in a single day. The main attraction of the event is the availability of massive discounts – often as much as 50% – on some very desirable and popular items.

Some Double 11 stats and facts

 

  • Brands usually begin their promos in mid-October, offering early bird specials and incentives to order or purchase goods before the day arrives.
  • Customers will often pre-order goods or add goods to their shopping carts ahead of time and then obtain ‘red envelope’ cash coupons from sites like Taobao or Tmall. When the day comes, they just need to press purchase to order their items.
  • According to China Internet Watch, Alibaba sales exceeded $US2 billion within the first hour of Double 11 day in 2014.
  • In 2013, Alibaba sales amounted to $US5.7 billion on Taobao and Tmall in the 24 hours of Double 11, with customers purchasing goods from 168 countries. In 2014, this grew by almost 62% to $US9.3 billion.
  • The total market of Double 11 at present is around $US390 billion and is expected to grow to $US718 billion by 2017, according to a report by the BBC.
  • According to surveys, the greatest concern of shoppers is the risk of product inauthenticity.

Double 11 opportunities

Double 11 could offer some brilliant opportunities for Australian brands. Popular items include branded clothing and accessories, digital products, mobile phones, home electrical goods, personal care products, and food and beverages. The most commonly used platforms are Taobao, Tmall, and Jingdong, with payment methods used including Alipay, online banking, credit cards, C.O.D., and WeChat. The main market for Double 11 is those in the 18 to 26-year-old age bracket, who are tech-savvy and have some disposable income.

The large numbers of sales generated often compensate for the massive discounts on offer. This means a particular consideration for the festival for sellers is that of being able to meet demand and to deliver products on time. Many sellers begin their promotions early, and also expand their warehousing and take on more employees during the festival to package up and send goods to ensure customers receive them on time.

Contact our marketing team if you would like assistance in preparing for this year’s Double 11 festival.

 

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