Move over Black Friday – try Singles Day?

Though Black Friday on the 26th November is set to be huge for UK and US retailers, a Chinese import called Singles Day is in fact the biggest global retail day according to research by SimilarWeb. UK retailers are starting to promote on Singles Day (11/11/15) that saw global sales of USD $9.3 billion, dwarfing global sales on Black Friday.

Online market Alibaba is preparing for what some have called a ‘tidal wave’ of goods being delivered around the world from China, which is putting special measures in place to deliver as many as 278 million items around the world.

Where Debenhams saw a 50% spike in traffic and New Look a 43% boost on Singles Day 2014, this is nothing to Black Friday 2014 where one major retailer saw a spike of over 100% in online traffic and e-commerce as a whole taking a massive boost in income from the spike.

With multiple retailing traditions meeting in one place, already laying to waste the UK’s traditional January Sales retailing peak, it will be interesting to see if the British public has an appetite for multiple flash sales that originate in two different cultures. Already we have seen Argos take the step of multiple sales days (Red, White, Blue and Black Fridays are coming in the next few weeks) to even out the hysteria that comes with major discounting on one particular day. If new traditions come in from other places around the world, these will have the same effect on the customer, who may not camp outside a shop for a particular TV offer but instead take a more relaxed approach due to the dilution of the flash sales phenomenon. The same may apply to e-commerce clicks, and the knock on will either leave the consumer jaded with sales every other week, or reduce headaches at the logistics side of the retail business as they manage a protracted rush of traffic, as opposed to a tidal wave.

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