It’s discount season! We all know about Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but did you know about the equivalent with Chinese companies? It’s 11/11 – a fantastic time for deals on 3D printers, laser engravers, and drones.
What is 11/11?
11/11 is Singles’ Day, which as the name suggests is celebrated on November 11th in China. Singles Day started as a kind of anti-Valentine’s Day. It was a day for individuals to celebrate their singleness, a concept conceived by students at Nanjing University in the 1990s.
The date was chosen for its representation of solitude – the number “1” symbolizes an individual standing alone.
In 2009, the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba saw an opportunity in this unique holiday. They decided to transform it into a day for singles to indulge themselves with online shopping.
Other Chinese retailers jumped on the bandwagon, and the holiday became a landmark event in the Chinese retail calendar.
Their marketing strategy hit the bullseye, and Singles’ Day rapidly morphed into the world’s largest online shopping day.
The essence of Singles’ Day is online shopping, with a plethora of discounts and sales splashed across various e-commerce platforms. It’s become an annual shopping extravaganza, akin to the U.S.’s Black Friday, but with a stronger emphasis on e-commerce.
Why Not Black Friday?
On the flip side, Black Friday, is the day following Thanksgiving in the U.S., and signals the traditional commencement of the Christmas shopping season. Very US-centric and not viable for China to adopt or as a truly international holiday.
Grab a Deal but Shop Wisely
Despite their contrasting origins, both Singles’ Day and Black Friday have evolved into global phenomena. Companies worldwide offer enticing deals to lure customers and spike sales. Singles’ Day holds particular significance for Chinese companies, given the country’s vast population and the holiday’s widespread recognition.
Remember, however, it might only LOOK like a deal – many products are sold at a fake discount, either especially manufactured to a price point with inferior elements, or sold at a higher price just to be heavily discounted around these dates for a headline-grabbing percentage off.
So, whether you’re a single looking to treat yourself or a bargain hunter waiting for Black Friday, remember to shop wisely.