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Everything You Need to Know About Alibaba’s Singles Day Sale on Nov. 11

You thought Cyber Monday was big? It doesn’t hold a candle to Singles Day, also known as the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival.

The e-commerce promotional sales event, held each year on Nov. 11, started in 2009 by 27 Tmall.com merchants to fill a gap in China’s retail calendar — and to mark Singles Day, the day young Chinese single people celebrate their independence by treating themselves to a special purchase.

Over the years, the day has exploded in popularity. In 2020, for instance, Alibaba Group racked up $74.1 billion in sales across its platforms over an 11-day period. (That was the first time the e-comm company extended the shopping event beyond a 24-hour period.) Roughly 250,000 brands participated in 2020 from across the globe.

For this week’s upcoming 11.11 extravaganza, the shopping opportunities will be even greater.

According to Alibaba Group, a record 290,000 brands are expected to participate, and Tmall is offering more than 14 million deals to over 900 million consumers in China.

An initial sale round was held Nov. 1-3, with the main event set for Nov. 11.

The merchandise offering covers a range of categories, and technology is often the most popular. However, fashion lovers will have access to plenty of great deals as well. Janet Wang, the head of Alibaba’s Tmall Luxury Division, revealed last month that more than 200 luxury and designer labels will take part in the 11.11 event, including Chanel, Balenciaga, Gucci, Prada, Coach, Bottega Veneta and Christian Louboutin — and Hermes and Saint Laurent will participate for the first time. 

Amid the consumer promotions, Alibaba is also encouraging “green” lifestyles and charitable contributions.

The 11.11 sale will feature a dedicated vertical to showcase energy-efficient and low-impact products, and at the beginning of November, Alibaba’s logistics arm, Cainiao Network, introduced package recycling in its post stations in 20 cities to reduce the festival’s carbon footprint.

Alibaba chief marketing officer Chris Tung told media last month, “With the influence and reach of 11.11, I think this is the best chance for us to not only help to sell the products but also to deliver the message to shift consumer mindset to a more sustainable consumption concept.”

And through Alibaba Group’s “Goods for Good” philanthropic program, merchants pledge a portion of their sales to a charity of their choice. More than 1.1 million people are expected to benefit from the program this year, as Alibaba has pledged to donate RMB1 (or 16 cents) for every purchase shoppers share on social media.

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