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Singles Day vs. Black Friday Brand and Consumer Trends

Singles’ Day takes place on 11.11 or double 11 to represent solo living or being single.




(PRESS RELEASE) Singles’ Day and Black Friday are without a doubt the biggest online shopping campaigns in November. Singles’ Day targets Chinese consumers while Black Friday, originally from the US, now reaches consumers across the globe.

Both campaigns rely on online marketing in order to further engage their existing and potential customers. Regarding digital marketing platforms, brands have to know their target audience, what platforms they use and what content resonates with them the most. Brands also have to be aware of the limitations huge online campaigns can have. Even though Singles’ Day promotions sound like the perfect occasion for foreign brands to promote their products in China, there are a lot of requirements that are important to consider, from having a sufficient amount of the product, to ensuring perfect logistic and local customer services.
Singles’ Day, the Celebration of Being Single

Singles’ Day takes place on 11.11 or double 11 to represent solo living or being single. In 2009, Alibaba’s Tmall promoted Singles’ Day for the first time by creating a connection between Singles Day and online shopping. Consumer spending grew 0.83 billion USD to 74.1 billion USD on Singles’ Day between 2011 and 2020 making Singles’ Day the biggest online shopping campaign in the world.
In China brands need to begin preparation for major ecommerce holidays like Singles’ Day, approximately 2 months prior the campaign. 2 weeks before the big day brands start to create buzz.
In the recent years, live-streaming featuring KOLs were very popular on Taobao Live. This year more than 15 million USD in sales were generated by only 30 live-stream channels. The two biggest KOL names are Viya, a queen of Chinese live-streaming, who reached a record breaking 37m views and Austin Li, who sold 15,000 lipsticks only within 5 minutes last year. Global stars also participated in this year’s promotions. Taylor Swift collaborated with Viya to launch her exclusive collection on Tmall while Miranda Kerr promoted her own skincare products with Chinese KOL Cherrie. Another huge sensation was Cartier’s first live-streaming where they showcased a necklace worth 28.3m USD, and reached over 800k viewers.

Not only Chinese and worldwide famous stars could generate views this year. Some of the most unexpected live streamers were: farmers, blacksmiths and chefs who promoted their products and companies.

Black Friday, the Start of the Holiday Season

Black Friday is one of the most profitable days of the year for retailers and businesses. However, the pandemic had an effect on shopping habits of US consumers. During this year’s Black Friday people stayed at home, avoiding large crowds and used the more convenient online purchasing options. According to Adobe Analytics, consumers spent 9 billion USD online which was an 21.6% increase compared to last year. Curbside pickup increased by 52% as well.


Retailers knew it way before November that revenues wouldn’t be the same if they stuck to their typical strategy for Black Friday. Instead of door-busting discounts, major players in the industry spread discounts throughout November and launched online sales events in October.
When it comes to digital marketing platforms, Western users love Instagram Stories. GAP resized its Facebook advertisement video to fit the Stories format. The result was an attention-grabbing video with dynamic movement and happy people showcasing GAP clothes.
Another trendy twist was the cross-platform nods, where brands took a specific format of a platform and posted it on a different one. Blenders eyewear smartly used a popular TikTok “Wipe It Down” challenge and then posted the video on Facebook.

Lululemon posted an unconventional yet very strong and emotional video on Instagram right before Black Friday. Instead of colorful ads and promotions they decided to let their brand ambassador to create a video reflecting to the difficulties of this year with soft background music and narrative.
Singles’ Friday

Ecommerce sales is all about highs and peaks both in China and in the West. The goal for every retailer is to make the most of the highs and prepare everything according to the marketing strategy in the peaks or as this very challenging year showed us, adapting to the situation quickly. Knowing the latest digital marketing trends, creating unique content, and featuring influential people in the advertisements are the main ingredients for a successful online shopping campaign everywhere.


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