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Singles Day: $10 Billion Gift for Alibaba

John Gaffney |

Tomorrow may be a $10 billion day for Alibaba. It’s Singles Day, a minor holiday to celebrate being single (11/11. Get it?) but one that has grown to be four times as big as Black Friday. According to a new Nielsen survey, 56 percent of more than 1,000 surveyed internet users in China said they would increase spending compared with 2014. The average expected spend amongst all respondents this year is 1,761 renminbi, or $277—an increase of 22 percent from last year.

If correct, Alibaba will take in $10 billion in a 24-hour period.

Who is the Chinese consumer? Our recent report “The CMO’s Guide to the Omnishopper” surveyed China as part of its global initiative, and it reinforced that finding; keeping the omnishopper is a high-stakes game for global retailers.

In 2014, according to Kantar Research, the Chinese eCommerce market generated $458 billion in revenue. It dwarfs all other markets including the US ($297 billion) and the UK ($82 billion). By 2020 China is projected to have 891 million online shoppers. The US is projected to have 215 million.

  • – So understanding the Chinese omnishopper is critical. MasterCard research shows some significant differences in attitudes toward merchant affinity and technology. In short: Chinese consumers are more willing to try new merchants, and their use of technology in shopping is almost ubiquitous.
  • – Forty percent of Chinese consumers like to try new merchants. That’s the second highest in the world, three points behind the UAE.
  • – Past track record is only important to 20 percent of Chinese consumers when they make a purchase, compared with 36 percent globally and 70 percent in Germany, which ranks the highest.
  • – Chinese consumers are also more price conscious when it comes to eCommerce. Fully 63 percent of them rated saving money as the highest priority when shopping online—the highest in the world. The US, by comparison, ranked saving money online at only 28 percent.
  • – Chinese consumers are also off the chart when it comes to using technology when shopping. While the global average is 80 percent, in China 95 percent of all consumers use technology at some point in the shopping process. And 94 percent have used retail-based shopping tools such as automatic notifications and mobile payments.

Topics: Economic Outlook, Payments Strategy, Retail Trends

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