Alibaba Singles day - The World’s Largest E-commerce Shopping Festival

Alibaba Singles day - The World’s Largest E-commerce Shopping Festival

Alibaba Singles day (Double 11) has become one of the most famous festival in the Chinese e-commerce industry besides Spring Festival, National Day Golden Week. And it’s also a part of the Chinese world-leading e-commerce innovation.

Alibaba Singles Day mainly targets specific the younger generation and perfectly combines the new age subculture with e-commerce campaign. This blog will give you a better appreciation of Alibaba Singles day(double 11) – the world’s largest shopping festival.

Table of content

What is Alibaba Singles day(double 11) Read Now

The revolution of Alibaba singles day (Double 11) Read Now

7 Marketing Strategies of Alibaba Singles day (double 11) Read Now

What is Alibaba Singles day (double 11) ?

​Singles day started from online culture of universities also know as ‘bare sticks holiday.’ It started in 1993 at Nanjing University as a day for students to celebrate their singledom. The date 11.11 was chosen as it resembles 4 solitary bare sticks.

“Singles day” reflects the social and cultural psychological of the newer generation of University students who are more relaxed, self-mocking and make fun of their single status, which creates a kind of cultural identity for the newer generations.

On the other side, young people try to create and express differences from the mainstream traditional marriage culture under the social background of the proportion of male and female population not being balanced, large work pressure and money-driven marriage. 

Alibaba singles day - EuroPass Blog
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All in all, the DNA of singles day originally was to create a festival that could fulfil the young people’s self-satisfaction and experience pleasure and dramatic romance.

There are 4 “ones” in the date, which symbolise the Bachelordoms, this date is also, the commercial opportunities which sits right in the middle of National Day Golden Week (October) and Spring Festival (March). What’s the most important, festival consumption is considered a big part of national consumption in China, and single’s day was just born from these conditions.

The revolution of Alibaba singles day (Double 11)


In 2009, Alibaba started the single’s day promotion champions cooperated with only 27 merchants and created the slogan of “Without male(female) friends, we can still crazily shopping ”.

In 2010, Alibaba converted from “single” concept to “50% off promotion” to find a good reason to target singles and lovers to attend and take part in this festival.

By 2011, taobao’s promotional slogan had changed to “taobao mall online shopping carnival”, and the concept of “singles day” was completely abandoned. This carnival appeared as a banner image on Weibo, with massive online and offline advertising and continuous focus of mass media, so as to launch a nationwide marketed promotion.

Alibaba singles day - EuroPass Blog
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In 2012, Alibaba registered a series of trademarks including “double11” and build the brand symbol – Tmall.

In 2013, Tmall held the shopping carnival as normal, and the 350.19 billion yuan transaction volume, proved the great success of this festival. Tmall doesn’t need to guide the huge online consumer group to this event, as singles day has become a beacon for online shopping.


In 2014, Alibaba gathered journalists from all over the world and many major websites opened live for the carnival. The promotion has converted from a discount promotion to a ceremony feast created by Tmall and mass media. 

When the time stopped at the midnight, a big screen showed 57.112billion yuan had been taken in sales. Jack Ma, who is the spiritual leader of Tmall, stood in front of this big screen and marvelled at the “power of consumers”. He puts the results down to the actions of ordinary participants and made them share the sense of belonging and achievement.

Alibaba Singles Day Jack Ma - EuroPass Blog
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In 2015, the Tmall reached a new high record with transactions fee exceeded 91.2 billion yuan. Compared with the same period of 2014, the transaction volume increased by 130%, and the order volume of mobile terminal accounted for 74%.


In 2016, Alibaba started the beginning of a new era of online retail. In the first 52 seconds of the 2016 double 11 (singles day) shopping carnival, the turnover exceeded 1 billion yuan and in 6 minutes 58 seconds, the transaction volume exceeded 10 billion yuan (NASDAQ). 

The marketing strategy was converted to focus on the live broadcast and other interactive games, such as the popular red envelope, following gifts, sharing studio gift. Star, KOL, live broadcast and checklist played throughout the whole marketing campaign.

In 2017, 167 brands became Tmall double 11 “the hundred-million-yuan club”. Apple held first place, media and millet exceeded 2 billion yuan on the single day. The online consumers came from 225 different countries or areas, and 140 thousand brands have participated in the carnival. The broadcast through mobile phones attracted 45 billion in audiences’ numbers and the final turnover number finished  at 168.2 billion.

Alibaba singles day 2018 - EuroPass Blog

In 2018, records were broken ever since the first second of 2018’s double 11 and the turnover exceeded 200 billion yuan.

7 Marketing Strategies of Alibaba Singles day (double 11)

1. Hunger marketing

Tmall is good at creating a tense atmosphere. Many stores sell their products in limited quantities and at low prices. They use “panic”, “last X item”, “last XX time” and other hunger marketing tricks.

2. Visual Shock

Tmall strong page visual design effects induces the shopping desire of consumer. Compared with before, Tmall obviously shows more temptation. Subtitles like “50% off” and “time limit” are everywhere in the online stores.

3. Advertising marketing

Tmall’s advertisement sale includes hard and soft advertising. As early as half a month before the carnival, the advertisement has appeared in the major websites, major cities’ subway stations. On the other hand, the double 11 shopping list or double 11 shopping guide are strong temptations for potential customers.

4. Event marketing

Tmall definite the singles date as the crazy shopping festival and made it a tradition.

5. Marketing campaigns

The marketing campaigns like red envelopes, inviting friends following successfully spread double 11 to more potential audiences with the help of strong e-marketing abilities.

6. Reservation sales

Many stores are putting new pre-orders to attract attention and stimulate purchase.

7. Joint Marketing

Through a large number of resources of Alipay and Sina Weibo for joint marketing, Alibaba combine its variety of products as marketing tools.

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