China’s Singles Are Big Spenders

The U.S. has holidays like Valentine’s Day and Christmas when couples are expected to exchange gifts, but China’s Singles’ Day proves even lonely hearts can get in on the retail action — and according to a recent Nielsen study, China’s lone wolves plan to do just that.

In a study conducted by Nielsen and released to Reuters, 56 percent of 1,000 Internet users in China said that they planned on spending more on Singles’ Day than they had in 2014. Nearly 33 percent indicated they would purchase roughly the same amount, and only 6 percent said that they planned on pulling back on Singles’ Day spending.

“It’s not a huge surprise that consumers are planning to spend more during this year’s [Singles’ Day],” Yan Xuan, president of Nielsen Greater China, told Reuters. “Income levels and Internet penetration continue to rise throughout China, so this is a natural progression.”

Greater spending totals in 2015 could push Singles’ Day into unprecedented territory for retail holiday traffic. MarketWatch reported that Alibaba, China’s largest eCommerce marketplace, processed more than $2 billion in sales in the first hour, 11 seconds of Singles’ Day 2014 alone. By the time the day drew to a close, the site had surpassed $9 billion, 43 percent of which was due to mobile purchases.

Since the first “official” Singles’ Day in 2009, Alibaba’s sales alone have skyrocketed by more than 5,740 percent, and it appears that trend will continue. According to Reuters, the average Singles’ Day shopper is projected to spend about $277.76 in 2015, 22 percent more than the average shopper spent in 2014.

MarketWatch explained that Alibaba CEO Jack Ma has expressed a desire to turn China’s Singles’ Day into a global retail holiday on the same level as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and if these sales numbers continue, retailers in other countries might have no choice but to follow China’s lead.

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