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Singles’ Day: 6 Ways to Prep China’s Biggest Shopping Day of the Year

Headed to China with your growing ecommerce business? Discover how to get ready for Singles’ day — China’s biggest shopping day on the ecommerce calendar.

With some of the world’s largest online brands under its roof, the Chinese ecommerce market is an unstoppable force.

Boasting over 782 million online shoppers, China is the place to sell if you’re looking to take your brand from local to global. And once you’ve set up your cross-border store, there’s one major shopping day you won’t want to miss: Singles’ Day.

Raking in a staggering $71.4 billion in 24 hours for the Alibaba marketplace alone in 2020, Singles’ Day is the biggest shopping day in the world — a pretty sweet opportunity for your growing store.

But what is Singles’ Day all about? And how can you position your store to win big?

We’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll explore the who, what, why and when of Singles’ Day, and share a fail-proof strategy to make Singles’ Day a certified rainmaker for your store. 

The scoop on Singles’ Day

  • 11/11 Singles’ Day: What’s this Chinese Holiday All About?
  • Why Is Singles’ Day Important for Ecommerce Businesses?
  • How to Win Online Shoppers’ Hearts this Singles’ Day

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11/11 Singles’ Day: What’s this Chinese Holiday All About?

Before we jump into the specifics of how to nail your Singles’ Day debut, let’s iron out some details so you know what you’re getting into.

Previously known as Bachelors’ Day, Singles’ Day is China’s biggest online event held annually on 11th November. The logic behind the 11.11 date is that it symbolises 4 single people together.

Singles’ Day kicked off in 1993 at Nanjing University as a Valentine’s Day boycott to celebrate singledom. As more brands compete for business with enticing promotions, discounts and competitions, Singles’ Day has continued to gain ground.

The event is now so popular, even businesses across the pond in countries like the UK and US have joined in on the fun.

Who is Singles’ Day for?

While Singles’ Day is an ode to the unattached, everyone can benefit from the shopping experience. Shoppers and businesses from around the globe can buy on Singles’ Day too — but they have to watch out for customs duties and taxes which can wipe out any discounts.

Why is Singles’ Day important for ecommerce businesses expanding into China?

Thanks to its popularity, Singles’ Day is vital for a successful expansion into China. 

Here’s why Singles’ Day is your ecommerce brand’s golden ticket to cross-border success:

  • Put your brand on the map: The Chinese market values established brands from overseas. Thanks to Singles’ Day’s massive reach, participation can help your store capitalise on that momentum. 
  • Pull in cash to fuel your growth across China: The Chinese ecommerce market is bursting with established selling platforms. But setting up on these marketplaces can get expensive. Singles’ Day can give you a quick cash injection to help fund your launch on Chinese marketplaces.
  • Gain new customers: The fun doesn’t stop once you’ve served the masses on Singles’ Day. The event can bring in new fans and help you build long-lasting (and profitable) relationships.

When is the best time to prepare for Singles’ Day?

Singles’ Day gives even the most epic shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday a serious run for their money, so you can never be too prepared for this mammoth online event. 

In a perfect world, you’d be able to give yourself around 6 months to prepare the perfect products, marketing and promotions — but if you miss this date, shoot for 3 months minimum. 

And if you miss that? Don’t worry. Just get your best offer or promo ready to go as quickly as possible so that you can dip your toe in, and get a little Singles’ Day experience under your belt to help make next year’s holiday even more of a money maker.

With low transfer fees and exchange rates that use the real mid-market rate, SellersFunding makes it easy to take your business global. Learn more about how we can help save you money.

How to Win Online Shoppers’ Hearts this Singles’ Day 💘

Clearly Singles’ Day can be a major revenue lever for your business. But if you really want to nail it, you’ll need to set out a clear plan to win over shoppers on the big day. 

There’s a lot to cover, so buckle up:

  1. Line up your forecasts and reliable suppliers

Demand for stock will rocket as Q4 approaches, so it’s crucial you understand what your stock requirements are, including Singles’ Day and other key dates that follow like Black Friday and Boxing Day.

Here’s how:

  • If you’re already selling in China, predict demand by studying your past and current sales figures in this market. 
  • Next, audit your suppliers and vendors, weed out any vendors with persistent quality or delivery issues, and look for better replacements. Leave enough time to get samples and run trials so you have a smooth-running supply chain before Singles’ Day hits.
  1. Place stock orders early

As Q4 approaches, sellers from around the world will have their eyes set on China to get stocked up — so, it’s important to start your stock orders early. 

Here are a few key tasks to start on:

  • Confirm how many units you need for each product, at least 2 months before you need the items.
  • Understand your suppliers’ production/supply capacity.
  • Negotiate bulk order prices for existing products.
  • Secure manufacturing slots.
  • Sample new items and lock in orders.
  1. Amp up your customer experience

With more online shoppers than ever, now’s your chance to get them hooked on your store. 

To make your store unforgettable, invest in building a memorable customer experience (CX). 

These CX-boosting tactics can help get you started:

  • Optimize your website or ecommerce platform(s): Create intuitive website design, attractive photography, clear descriptions and enticing CTAs.
  • Fine-tune your fulfilment process: From shipping to returns, your fulfillment process should be painless, so look for ways to remove any friction to boost sales and return visits. For example, you could use personalised order updates, multiple shipping options, and printer-less returns.
  • Adapt products and packaging to fit the Chinese market: To help your items better fit the Chinese market, take the culturally conscious approach. For example, you could use red envelopes or packaging in keeping with Chinese gifting traditions (red symbolises good luck) — but be careful not to wipe out the international traits which are appealing to Chinese shoppers. 
  • Invest in building stores on top Chinese ecommerce platforms: Even if you have your own website, it can still be profitable to set up your store on additional marketplaces. Find out where your target shoppers spend their cash, then set up a storefront to capture those sales. Some top China ecommerce platforms you can build on include:
  1. Craft a scroll-stopping marketing campaign

Competition for shoppers’ attention will be fierce in the run-up to Singles’ Day. But don’t worry, you can sway the crowds with exciting marketing campaigns and promotions. 

Here’s how: 

  • To outdo the competition, research past Singles’ Day promotions, then look for ways to beat them. 
  • Execute your marketing efforts through in-app ads, live promotions, email campaigns, and WeChat adverts. These channels will help you grab shoppers’ attention and secure more sales.
  • Optimise your listings and ads with relevant keywords to boost the visibility and effectiveness of your marketing initiatives. 
  • Run flash-sale promotions on your bestsellers.
  • Sell goods in higher quantities for reduced prices online and offline.
  • Offer limited-time bundles with codes advertised on social media.
  • Give shoppers free gifts according to their spending.
  1. Set up an easy way to pay suppliers and receive payouts

As competition for suppliers’ attention gears up, another area to optimise for Singles’ Day is your supplier payment processes.

Here are a few pointers to make payments as pain-free as possible: 

  • To win suppliers’ trust and preserve profit margins, make sure you have a quick way to pay for goods and services. 
  • Your process should allow you to collect disbursements in Chinese renminbi which many shoppers will transact in.
  • Multi-currency Digital Wallets allow you to send, receive and transact in different currencies. Look for a provider with fair currency exchange rates and stable fees so you can accurately predict your end costs. 
  1. Get funding to foot the Singles’ Day bill

With other expenses piling up, it can be challenging to pay for all your Singles’ Day costs at once.  

Lucky for you, there’s a simple fix: ecommerce funding.

Ecommerce funding can help support your costs while providing additional cash for any unexpected expenses that come your way. 

For best results, look for a funding provider with a fast approvals process, fair interest rates, and who specialises in ecommerce, to make your road to Singles’ Day and beyond much smoother. 

(And just so you know, SellersFunding can hook you up with flexible funding and much more 😉).

The Game Plan for a Smash Hit Singles’ Day

Singles’ Day offers your store a one-of-a-kind opportunity to gain new customers, expand brand reach and explode sales — but for a lasting impression, you need to put in the groundwork.

If you can secure reliable ecommerce funding, work hard to understand competitor strategies, provide stellar customer service, and offer high-quality products, you’ll be well on your way to enviable sales on Singles’ Day.

Ready to dominate Singles’ Day? Get flexible funding for the ride!


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