It’s almost that time of year in the United States when the president pardons a turkey, you and your family gather around the dinner table for an incredible Thanksgiving feast, and—let’s not forget—there’s a mad rush to claim those amazing once-a-year Black Friday deals the day after Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday deals the following Monday … uh … to check off that holiday gift list … of course.
While Black Friday and Cyber Monday might bring in the biggest in-store and online sales in the United States, they pale in comparison to Singles’ Day in China. What’s Singles’ Day, you might be wondering? Singles’ Day is an unofficial holiday in China that’s “celebrated” each November 11th. It began in the 1990s as a protest by college students who were tired of couple-centric holidays like Valentine’s Day. After all, why all these holidays and festivals to celebrate couples and nothing to celebrate being single, right? Well, the idea of celebrating being single was taken on by Alibaba, one of the world’s largest online retail sites. In 2009, Alibaba marketed Singles’ Day as the ultimate shopping day for treating yourself by offering steep discounts on a variety of items. The discounts were so enticing that people would wait all year to buy things during this twenty-four-hour period.
Now, if you’re skeptical as to how big this sale really is, here are some eye-popping numbers to convince you: This year, Alibaba’s Singles’ Day hit a shocking sales record of $1 billion in just the first eighty-five seconds of the sale. And while there is some dispute as to how Alibaba calculates its total revenues, $30.8 billion (give or take a billion) is still a lot of money earned in a twenty-four-hour period, wouldn’t you agree? In comparison, last year’s sales during Cyber Monday generated approximately $6.59 billion. We’d say this idea of treating yourself is a big hit in China, wouldn’t you agree?
How would you celebrate yourself? Here at Xyza, we’d make ourselves a nice cup of hot chocolate and read a book. Ahhhh …