The day that eclipses Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Have You Heard of Singles Day?

You think that online shopping has reached its peak? We can assure you: There is no end anywhere in sight. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are known as shopping extravaganzas and consumer-friendly battles for the lowest prices which have grown to make up the lion’s share of yearly turnovers. Singles Day, however, eclipses these events by far. 

China – gigantic in all aspects

Chinese online platform Alibaba alone achieved a turnover of 17.8 million dollars on Singles Day in 2016. The total turnover of Cyber Monday, Black Friday, Thanksgiving and Amazon Prime Day added together reached just 47% of Alibaba’s turnover on Singles Day. For the record: That’s up to 174,000 orders per second and a total of 710 million products sold – on just one single day!

This was only surpassed one year later by Alibaba itself. On Singles Day 2017, the internet giant managed to register up to 325,000 orders per second in its cloud, which resulted in 256,000 processed payments via its subsidiary Alipay. A little detail on the side: A fifth of all purchases were made in the first fifteen minutes. Expectations are high for this year’s final tally – according to official press releases, the previous year’s figures were reached by the afternoon.

Humble beginnings...

The origins of Singles Day go back to a group of young, single men at the University of Nanjing who came up with the idea on November 11, 1993 as an opportunity to help singles meet potential partners. The date is known as the singles’ equivalent of February 14, Valentine’s Day, and was chosen for the number 1, which represents a single person. Since the early 1990s, this day has been gaining popularity among the young Chinese. They get together for parties and karaoke events to make new friends or, with a bit of luck, the partner for life. Of course, as is the custom both in the East and in the West, it didn’t take long for this day to become commercialized. Chinese retailers discovered the sales potential in this day and started offering discounts and promotions to persuade consumers to buy – be it a small gift for a friend or to oneself, to celebrate single life. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that Singles Day has grown to be the most lucrative online shopping day worldwide.

Jingle all the way

Asia’s notorious Singles Day is closely followed by Black Friday, its consumer-crazed counterpart in the western hemisphere. This day was originally introduced by traditional offline retailers and is known as the kickoff of the Christmas shopping season. After Thanksgiving, which is celebrated on the last Thursday of November, US-Americans make use of the following Friday to buy the first Christmas presents – and fall into their yearly shopping frenzy. Today, Black Friday has taken hold of online retail as well, luring hundreds of thousands of consumers with discounts of up to 50%. Up until today, there has been no definitive explanation of the precise origins of this popular shopping day. Some say this lucrative day offered many merchants the chance to get back in the black after months of losses. More cynical contemporaries believe that the name was coined because merchants made so much money that their hands turned black from the ink on the bills.

The virtual response follows on Monday

Less shrouded in legend, but similarly lucrative, Cyber Monday was invented by online retailers as their response to Black Friday, which was originally reserved for offline merchants, and takes place on the Monday after Thanksgiving. Although Black Friday has already made its way into the online world, Cyber Monday is still celebrated year after year. When it comes to sales, two is always better than one.

Consumer comfort leads to complex processes behind the scenes

Online shopping scores points in comparison to traditional shopping especially due to the comfort and the enormous variety of products it offers. No desire remains unfulfilled, no item is out of reach. The world has finally become a village.

For the logistics industry, each sales record brings new challenges. 62 billion parcels went around the world in 2016. Thanks to online trade, experts are predicting a yearly growth rate between 17 and 28 percent in parcel shipments. Handling these amounts of parcel shipments requires an immense logistical effort as well as sophisticated supply chain management. For the most part, consumers are unaware of the perfectly oiled machine running behind the scenes when the courier knocks on their door to hand over the delivered goods.

Parcel Shipments: Christmas Delivery and Returns Service

Courier, express and parcel providers have quite a lot to do during Christmas season. The amount of parcel shipments is rapidly increasing, especially thanks to the steadily growing online business. What’s more, challenging weather conditions can lead to delays in delivery. To make sure that your Christmas parcels reach their destination in time, we recommend planning and scheduling the shipments as early as possible.

What if the Christmas sweater doesn’t fit?

Free return shipping is becoming more and more important for many consumers and eCommerce providers. Retailers who offer this service to their customer usually do this by enclosing a return label with the parcel. With this return label, the customer can simply hand over the parcel at a parcel shop and ship it back for free. Costs for the retailer only arise if a parcel is sent back.

In cooperation with renowned logistics partners, cargo-partner offers national and cross-national parcel services as well as returns solutions for online retailers addressing domestic and international customers.