Is Chinese Singles Day the next big shopping event to hit Australia?

09-Nov-2017 3:06 PM

Forget Black Friday Sales, Cyber Monday and traditional post-Christmas Boxing day sales - the next big thing to hit Australia will be 'Singles Day', according to QUT's retail expert.

Associate Professor Gary Mortimer said Singes Day started as an obscure "anti-Valentine's Day" celebration for single people in China back in the 1990s.

He said it had spawned into the world's biggest online shopping day.

It takes place in China on November 11 every year.

“Last year, Americans spent $3 billion on Black Friday Sales online,” said Professor Mortimer.

Gary Mortimer_8  

In comparison, Australians spent about AUS$2.3 billion on Boxing Day instore and online.

"While China’s November 11 ‘Singles Day’ is still predominately focused on local consumers and completely dominated by one online retailer – Alibaba, it is expected the shopping event will gain traction in the Australian market," he said.

“Singles Day has gone under the radar for most Western market places but in 2016 Chinese shoppers spent an incredible US$17.8 billion in 24 hours.”

Based on the 2016 Census, we have more than one million people living in Australia who were born in mainland China, with the majority in Sydney and Melbourne.

“As demand for Australian products increase, middle-class Chinese shoppers present a great opportunity for Australian brands,” he said.

Daigou stores are emerging in response to the demands of a burgeoning Chinese middle-class and their hunger for Australian brands.

By 2022, 76% of China’s urban population will be considered middle class.

shopping-profile-1514070“Yet, we see very little promotion of this event, whether instore or online,” Professor Mortimer said.

“I think this is a missed opportunity.”

He said there would be Chinese-owned Daigou retailers, like AUmake, in Australia that would leverage the opportunity.

“The challenge for Australian retailers is of course, Remembrance Day that also falls on the 11th November,” he said.

“Remembrance Day holds particular importance for Australians, who stop to remember armed forces personnel who have died in the line of duty.

"Hence, retailers may attract criticism if they attempt to leverage a sales event on this day.”

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