Singles’ Day 2021: All You Need To Know About 11/11

There’s no denying it: celebrating the joys of being single is always a good idea. In fact, there’s a whole day dedicated to it! Regarded as Singles Day, or 11/11, this unofficial holiday was created by Chinese university students as an “Anti-Valentine’s Day”. That way, every November 11, singles would proudly celebrate — and not mourn — about their status. 

But what started as an excuse for bachelors to enjoy their singledom grew to become the world’s biggest online shopping day. Offering shoppers special promotions, and plenty of entertainment, Singles Day sales racked up record numbers – more so than Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Amazon Prime Day sales.

Whether you’re happily single or in a committed relationship, Single’s Day comes as the perfect opportunity for you to score amazing discounts and treat yourself to some well-deserved retail therapy.

Read the full post to learn everything about Singles’ Day — from how it became a global phenomenon, to why you should keep an eye on it in 2021.

All You Need To Know About Singles’ Day 

What Is Singles’ Day

Woman holding a credit card and shopping online on her laptop.

Singles’ Day is an unofficial holiday created to celebrate people who are not in a relationship. Also known as Double 11 and Bachelor’s Day, Singles’ Day has become the largest physical retail and online shopping day in the world, becoming bigger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Before Singles’ Day turned into a massive one-day shopping event, the date was an excuse for people in China to celebrate their single status, rather than being upset about not being in a relationship.

How Did It Start?

Group of Chinese friends eating rice and laughing.

Singles’ Day originated in 1993 at Nanjing University, in China. At the time, four single male students decided to honor their singledom by creating a special day of events and celebrations for people who were not in a relationship.

The date November 11 (11:11) was chosen because it resembles four single sticks, which is Chinese online slang for an unmarried man.

The celebration spread across universities throughout China, leading single people to indulge in a variety of activities like taking themselves to dinner, hanging out with friends, and more.

While Single’s Day started as a way of celebrating the joys of being single, the date soon became a massive shopping event thanks to the marketing efforts of Chinese retail company Alibaba. In 2009, the e-commerce giant launched their first Singles’ Day event to coincide with the unofficial Chinese holiday.

Alibaba’s shopping holiday quickly surpassed Black Friday’s sales, hosting thousands of big-name brands like Apple, Nike, Adidas, and Estée Lauder, among others.

The main reasons why Singles’ Day became the highest-grossing shopping day of the year in the world? One is the sheer size of the Chinese consumer market, and the other one is the fact that Alibaba tapped into the idea of “self-care” to promote sales.

Who Participates On Singles’ Day?

Singer Taylor Swift during her show.

Aside from discounts and flash deals in real-time, Single’s Day also treats customers with larger-than-life entertainment. The shopping event features an extravagant opening gala, with performances by artists like Taylor Swift, Pharrell Williams and appearances of celebrities including Kim Kardashian, Nicole Kidman, and Mariah Carey, aside from Chinese celebrities.

With Single’s Day becoming the biggest online shopping day of the year and surpassing Cyber Monday by more than double in 2012, more brands and customers were eager to participate year over year.

Giants like Apple, L’Oréal, Haier, Estée Lauder, Nike, Huawei, Midea, Lancôme, Xiaomi and Adidas were among the brands that exceeded the RMB100 million (more than $15 billion) mark in 2020.

Gross merchandise value during that period, according to Alibaba, was $74.1 billion, an increase of 26% compared to the same timeframe in 2019.

Which Countries Celebrate Singles’ Day?

Sign at the New York Stock Exchange as the e commerce company the Alibaba Group records blockbuster Single's Day sales in New York City.

Over the years, Single’s Day extended beyond China, and since it has been popularized through the internet, it’s now observed at several places. While it’s particularly popular in South East Asia, several e-commerce sites across the world are getting involved.

Quick Facts About Singles’ Day

Single’s Day is also known as “bare sticks holiday”

The date 11:11 was chosen as it resembles 4 solitary bare sticks.

Single’s Day is the world’s biggest shopping holiday

In 2020, more than 250,000 brands and about 800 million shoppers participated on Single’s Day.

Annual sales on Singles Day surpass Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

Alibaba’s mobile wallet app broke a record

Alipay broke the record for most transactions per second with 256,000.

And Singles Day’ broke a Guinness World Record in 2015

It broke the record for the highest online sales revenue generated by a single company in 24 hours at $14 billion.

In 2020, Alibaba and have racked more than $100 billion in sales

The Chinese e-commerce giants chalked up $115 billion in sales across their platforms during Singles Day.

More than 500,000 orders are processed per second

Alibaba processed 583,000 every second at peak times during the shopping event.

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