How Singles' Day 2021 Went and What to Expect This 11.11

Nov 10, 2022

(Click here to view the HD version of this infographic)

  • Asia's e-commerce parcel volumes surged by 34.2% during the 11.11 period in 2021.

  • The average basket size in Hong Kong increased by 157% for 2021’s 11.11 sales as compared to 2020.

  • Vietnam saw the most stable growth in average basket size, from US$14.55 in 2019 to US$18.36 in 2020, followed by US$20.12 in 2021.

  • In 2022, many marketplaces are kickstarting their Singles' Day campaigns earlier with a greater focus on sustainability and consumer loyalty.

Let’s admit it. At one point or another, we have all caved to the allure of our shopping desires, staying up into the wee hours of the night just to camp out for unbelievable discounts on Singles’ Day, the largest shopping event in Asia.

As its name suggests, Double 11 falls on 11th November and is an annual e-commerce shopping event that was initiated by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba back in 2009. What started as a day to celebrate the freedom of single people has now become a major retail extravaganza that surpasses traditional shopping events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Join the leading e-commerce logistics community
Sign up for free now!

The global shopping festival has evolved in many ways ever since its beginning. We have also seen how consumer beliefs and behaviors are changing fast due to the many disruptions caused by the pandemic. This leads us to the question: after two years of COVID-19, has there been any impact on consumers' shopping habits? Here's a recap of what went down last year.

Parcel Volumes Surged by 34.2% During 11.11 as Compared to the Pre-11.11 Period. 

Based on our data, there was a significant increase of 34.2% in e-commerce parcel volumes in Asia over the 11.11 period. This is not surprising given the wide range of promotions taking place on Singles Day. In fact, many e-commerce platforms in the region have stepped up their game even more this year to ensure sufficient capacity to handle the expected surge in orders. Lazada Malaysia, for instance, is taking their annual 11.11 sales to the next level by "preparing a lineup of exciting Shoppertainment elements, not-to-miss iconic deals and savings, and more ways for shoppers to discover new products and brands, while enjoying the best online shopping experience".

Another possible explanation is linked to the phenomenon of “revenge spending”. Simply put, this refers to consumers, who have emerged from isolation, spending more than they routinely spent before the pandemic. With several countries once again tightening their border controls following the discovery of the omicron variant, many consumers have been forced to cancel their long-awaited travel plans. Hence, these individuals might choose to spend more on imported products and foreign luxury brands instead, to partially make up for their “losses”.

Hong Kong Consumers Spend Big During Singles’ Day

Within the region, Hong Kong recorded the biggest growth in holiday spending this year; the average basket size in Hong Kong increased by 157% for 2021’s 11.11 sales as compared to 2020. This is possibly due to the government’s ongoing efforts to support the retail sector. One such example is the e-voucher scheme which was rolled out in two batches to help boost consumer spending in these challenging times. Under this program, HK$5,000 would be disbursed in installments to residents aged 18 or above. Eligible citizens can then receive these vouchers via different platforms; approximately 70% chose to redeem through store-valued Octopus cards, while the other 20% preferred to get it from Alipay HK.

Average Basket Size Increased in Hong Kong, Vietnam and Singapore

Besides Hong Kong, Vietnam and Singapore were two other countries in the region that saw an increase in the average value of items purchased by consumers. Out of the three, the most stable growth in average basket size was observed in Vietnam; it went from US$14.55 in 2019 to US$18.36 in 2020, followed by US$20.12 in 2021. 

Similar to Hong Kong’s, the Vietnamese government is also seeking to boost its e-commerce market. Back in 2020, it announced a five-year e-commerce strategy which aims to have over half its population shopping online by 2025. As of today, 7 out of 10 Vietnamese consumers have digital access and the country also has a considerably higher fintech and e-wallet penetration rate than a typical emerging market in Asia-Pacific. Considering such developments, it would make sense that Vietnam is expected to become the fastest-growing e-commerce market in the region by 2026, with a gross merchandise value (GMV) of US$56 billion at that time.

What Can We Expect in 2022 and Beyond?

Based on several sources, there has been a noticeable decline in demand for 11.11 sales and Singles’ Day is losing lustre thanks to the greater frequency of sales around this period. It has come to a point where many customers are realizing that it is now possible to browse and buy from their couch without having to camp out for these annual sale events.

While the heat of 11.11 may be cooling down, brands and e-commerce marketplaces are far from giving up on this once-in-a-year opportunity. In fact, they have found ways to enhance customers' shopping experiences by tapping into new and emerging technologies.

"Singles Day, even with the changes in consumer behavior, Covid and impact of global macroeconomic conditions continues to be a priority for China retailers," said Kelly Liu, head of Bain & Company's Greater China retail practice. "Singles Day and the 618 Festival still generated 12% of all online retail sales in China in 2021. However, the engagement is now being driven more by customer loyalty."

Earlier Sales With a Greater Focus on Consumer Loyalty

It is no secret that online marketplaces are launching 11.11 sales earlier than they used to. China's Alibaba, for instance, has kicked off its first check-out period on October 31, marking the very beginning of its annual Singles' Day shopping festival this year.

Amidst the growing competition and economic uncertainty, Alibaba is also seeking deeper customer engagement beyond driving up Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) with huge discounts. More specifically speaking, the e-commerce giant is leveraging technology to develop brand-centric and platform-based loyalty membership programs. The goal is to turn the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival into something that is of long-term, sustainable growth for the company.

Alibaba Group's Foray Into the World of Metaverse

Last but not least, Alibaba is utilizing virtual idols in an effort to attract younger audiences. For starters, it has appointed Ayayi and Noah – the two hyper-realistic virtual influencers – as its brand ambassadors to assist retailers with building up their brand profiles and amassing followings amongst the increasingly segmented consumer market.

“We want virtual idols to help brands with the digital upgrade and reach out to younger consumers,” said Rocker Hu, Manager of Digital Marketing at Alimama, Alibaba’s digital marketing arm.

What's Next for 11.11?

Despite the uncertainty regarding the future of big shopping festivals like 11.11, we cannot deny that an era is coming to an end. Brands should stop treating these annual events as their guaranteed sales booster and instead work on diversifying their revenue streams while simultaneously identifying specific values that they want to present to consumers.

“Big festivals such as 11.11 will become an opportunity for brands to experiment. Alibaba and brands will invest and innovate more and more to enhance customer experience with loyalty to the fore. In the future, metrics like customer retention, customer lifetime value will be as important as GMV. To conclude, the end of the gigantic e-commerce shopping festivals in China is not for today, it is only the approach and aims from brands and retailers that are evolving,” said Sandrine Zerbib, Founder and Chairwoman at Full Jet.

Research Methodology

Data on customers’ average basket size featured in this study were aggregated and averaged from more than 150 online merchants and more than 30 million products through each iPrice platform in 7 markets: Hong Kong, IndonesiaMalaysia, Philippines, SingaporeThailand, and Vietnam. The figures for the past year were obtained by averaging the total amount consumers spent on 11 November each year, from 2018 to 2020.

Meanwhile, the team at Parcel Monitor has analyzed the scale of the shift in consumer spending in 2 selected Southeast Asian markets: Singapore and Indonesia from 1 November 2021 to 21 November 2021. The results have been segmented into 3 distinct time periods: Pre-11.11 (1 November to 7 November), During 11.11 (8 November to 14 November), and After 11.11 (15 November to 21 November).

About iPrice Group

iPrice Group is a meta-search website operating in seven countries across Southeast Asia namely; MalaysiaSingaporeIndonesiaThailandPhilippinesVietnam, and Hong Kong.

As of today, iPrice compares and catalogs 7+ billion e-commerce offers from more than 8 million sellers, attracting more than 35 million monthly visits across the region. iPrice currently operates three business lines: price comparison for electronics and health & beauty; product discovery for fashion and home & living; and coupons across all verticals.

You May Also Like:

For more exclusive reports, insights, and interviews on the latest updates in e-commerce and logistics, follow us on LinkedIn or join our community as a member.

Share this with your network

Also worth your time

Track your parcel here