November 11 is known as ‘Double 11’ or ‘Single’s Day’ in China, because the number “1” signifies single status in Chinese popular culture. (Nov. 11 or 11/11 signifies four 1s).
Ten years ago, Chinese internet giant Alibaba capitalized on meme to create a shopping holiday to get consumers to buy more products — and it’s been hugely successful.
Sales for Singles Day was 50 million RMB ($7.25 million) when Alibaba first started the shopping holiday in 2009. In 2017, Alibaba sales soared to 168 billion RMB ($24.35 billion).
In the fight to compete for shoppers, E-commerce giants are blasting creative promotions.
Online retailer JD.com has launched a mobile E-sports competition in late October, with the final round held on November 11th.
Electronics chain Sunning will select a few “lucky lions” from its social media followers. These animals will win a large package of gifts ranging from snacks to home appliances.
Since late October, Chinese internet users have been flooded with Single’s Day coupons. There are website coupons, coupons for individual products, and coupons at specific stores on various retailer platforms.
Users can win money in virtual red envelopes through social media. Alibaba will also give extra coupons to shoppers who share their shopping list on social media and get likes.
But some internet users have expressed confusion at how to use all the various promotions and even frustration at some of the coupon restrictions.
One Weibo named Dahandajiao said: “I’ve spent an afternoon and an evening trying to understand the coupon rules of Double 11 and I’ve made zero no progress.”
Another Weibo named Chufeng818 said: “Double 11 is so unfriendly for those who are bad at math like me. I am done with the calculations and I will buy the diapers as long as it is cheaper than usual”.