Could ‘Singles Day’ be the next big promotional period for UK tech retailers?

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday both seeming to develop at an alarming pace each year, these two events are now marked out on many retailers’ calendar as vital promotional periods.

With predictions that Black Friday 2015, which takes place on November 27th, will be the UK’s very first £1 billion online shopping day, and global Cyber Monday sales hitting $2.68 billion, it seems imperative that retailers up and down the country get involved in both these events.

But there may be another important shopping day to start marking off on the calendar in the form of Singles Day.

Taking place on November 11th, last year’s event saw 278 million items sold worldwide, worth $9.3 billion – dwarfing those Cyber Monday sales.

So what is Singles Day and why haven’t you heard about it yet?

ParcelHero’s head of PR and publications, David Jinks explains: “Singles Day comes from China. It originated in Nanjing University where the large number of single males celebrated November 11th because it is all the ones: 11/11.

“Students continued the tradition once they had left university and it really took off in 2011: 11/11/11. It has become an excuse for an unofficial holiday, going on blind dates, and a huge shopping event in which single people buy themselves a treat.”

While this event might originally have been focused on a small group in China, after catching the eye of internet giant Alibaba, it’s now blowing up, with Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma stating: “I bet the number of goods sold is going to be scary.”

Although it’s gaining popularity in China, Jinks has revealed that Alibaba is moving the event westwards: “Tmall particularly has been setting up partnerships with global brands to manage logistics and sales from outside of China and use Tmall as largely a front-end. Consumers should watch the AliExpress site for UK bargains.

“For any internet retailer looking to source products for their site, significant discounts on Alibaba sites on 11/11 can’t be bad; but there are also sales opportunities. As the day grows in popularity UK buyers will start to seek out Singles Day bargains; and small retailers need to respond to this demand with Singles Day sales on their own sites or online marketplace stores such as eBay,” he suggests.

By November 11th, shoppers are very ‘Christmas conscious’ and already buying gifts, says Jinks – presenting an opportunity for responsive retailers to steal a march on Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales.

And speaking of Christmas, Pallet Truck UK is urging retailers to invest early ahead of the busy season.

“Christmas is, of course, traditionally the busiest time of year for businesses in the retail sector, as well as many other related industries. We’d like to urge organisations hoping to profit from the Christmas rush to ensure their equipment is of the highest standard,” said Phil Chesworth, MD of Pallet Trucks UK.

“During such busy times, businesses don’t want to be experiencing dips in productivity due to faulty or damaged equipment – they’ll need to have plenty of spares and extra equipment on standby to step in and keep productivity levels high.”

So if you are thinking of ramping up your Black Friday and Cyber Monday offerings – and testing the waters out on Singles Day with a few deals and promotions – it might be worth getting things sorted a little earlier this year.

Image source: Shutterstock

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