11 facts retailers need to know about Singles’ Day

3 minute read

Singles’ Day, also known as Double 11 or 11.11, is a rapidly growing eCommerce promotion that celebrates single people. 


Here are eleven interesting facts about the phenomenally popular eCommerce promotion that originated in China but is becoming increasingly relevant for UK retailers!

1. Origin: Singles’ Day started as an anti-Valentine’s Day celebration at Nanjing University in China in the early 1990s. The date, November 11 (11/11), was chosen because the number “1” resembles an individual who is alone. 

2. Alibaba’s Involvement: Alibaba Group, one of the world’s largest eCommerce companies, played a significant role in popularizing Singles’ Day. They turned it into a massive online shopping event.

3. Global Reach: While it originated in China, Singles’ Day has spread internationally. In 2023, European retailers like Nordic Days, JYSK, Dansk Copenhagen, Nachtmann and IKEA  are all promoting Singles Day campaigns.

4. UK Retailers: Some may argue that awareness of Singles’ Day is not widespread amongst UK consumers. However River Island, New Look, Zavvi, Sports Direct, Boohoo and Pretty Little Things have all held promotions for Singles’ Day in the past. In fact in 2021 ASOS reduced 20% off everything on Singles’ Day, including sale items, for 24 hours.

5. Record Sales: Singles’ Day has consistently set new records for the largest online shopping day in the world. The sales during this day often surpass Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States. In 2021 UK Singles Day sales reached £1.72bn and climbed to £1.97bn last year.

6. 24-Hour Shopping Extravaganza: Singles’ Day sales typically run for 24 hours, encouraging consumers to shop around the clock and providing special deals at different times throughout the day.

7. Mobile Shopping: A significant portion of Singles’ Day shopping is conducted through mobile devices, emphasizing the importance of mobile e-commerce in China and indeed the rest of the world.

8. Discount Bonanza: Retailers offer steep discounts and promotions on a wide range of products, from electronics and fashion to household goods and beauty products. Discount codes get published either on site or through third party websites. Search “Singles Day Vouchers 2023” to get a flavour for how retailers are offering discounts through voucher codes.

9. Philanthropic Aspect: In recent years, there has been a growing philanthropic aspect to Singles’ Day. Alibaba and other companies have used the occasion to promote charity and donations, encouraging consumers to give back to society.

10. Luxury UK Brands: Luxury retail isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when thinking about discount bonanzas. Yet, Burberry and Jaguar-Land Rover have both taken part in single day promotions in the past. UK brands that aren’t quite considered luxury, but have a premium market positioning – like Dyson – have also gotten on board.

11. Marketplace Discounts for UK consumers: For the 2023 Singles’ Day promotion, the China-Britain Business Council says Alibaba will be offering at least 17% off everything on its B2C marketplace TMall. UK shoppers who use AliExpress will already have seen plenty of banners advertising the 2023 promotion.

Promote your special offers
with Scurri Track Plus

  1. Scurri Track Plus is Scurri’s post-purchase communications solution that helps eCommerce retailers turn the post-purchase experience into a marketing opportunity.

Scurri Track Plus enables retailers to:

– Promote special offers within branded tracking emails

– Cross-sell and up-sell products through a branded tracking timeline

– Take ownership of the post-purchase experience, including analysing customers’ post-purchase behaviour 

– Boost loyalty by maintaining brand visibility during a time of peak engagement

Take control of your delivery management

Book a Consultation

Get industry insights you won’t delete.

Delivered straight to your inbox.

Sign up here…