Singles’ Day 2023: Pre-sale extravaganza

Singles’ Day 2023 set new records with early sales, luxury brand growth and AI-driven shopping experiences. Dive into the latest trends on our blog.

Singles’ Day, also known as Double 11 or 11.11, is the world’s largest online shopping festival, originating in China and now celebrated in countries across the globe. This year’s Singles’ Day saw another record-breaking shopping spree, with consumers snapping up deals on a wide range of products.

For the second consecutive year, Chinese e-commerce giants and Alibaba have refrained from disclosing the exact sales figures for Singles’ Day, though they did report year-over-year sales growth.

As the dust settles on yet another Singles’ Day, let’s take a look at key trends that emerged this year.

Singles’ Day pre-sales outperformed 11.11

Sales for Singles’ Day are starting to kick off earlier and earlier each year. This year, many retailers began offering discounts and deals as early as three weeks ahead of 11th November.’s 10-Billion Discount Campaign generated sales over 100 million yuan (A$22 million) within four minutes of its launch on 31st October.

Our affiliate network is no different. Our data shows the 8th and 9th of November being the most successful days, with sales soaring up to 90% YoY in China. Similar to Click Frenzy in Australia this year, this trend is likely to continue in the coming years, as retailers compete to attract ready-to-buy consumers.

In the lap of luxury

Singles’ Day 2023 unveiled a striking trend in luxury retail in Asia. There were significant sales spikes on the 7th, 8th and 10th of November, with a smaller increase on 11.11, followed by a decline towards the week’s end. This pattern suggests that luxury shoppers were quick to capitalise on early deals, possibly due to the allure of exclusive offerings or fear of missing out on limited stock. It also implies a potential prioritisation of luxury purchases at the outset of the shopping event.

The early surge in luxury sales, ahead of other categories, reflects a strategic focus by consumers on securing high-end items first before shopping for other items on Singles’ Day. The decrease in sales post-Singles’ Day indicates that the most eager luxury spending happened early. For marketers, this highlights the importance of targeting the beginning of sales events with strong promotions and exclusive deals to capture this early-bird market. It’s a valuable lesson in consumer behaviour for future high-stakes shopping events.

Growing popularity of experiential shopping

Livestreaming shopping is still a major phenomenon in China and many other countries in Asia. During Singles’ Day, livestreaming campaigns attracted millions of viewers, who eagerly watched influencers and brand representatives showcasing products and offering exclusive discounts. In particular,’s livestream campaign hosted by its Product Managers-turned-Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) attracted over 140 million viewers and generated over 10 billion yuan in transactions (A$2.2 billion).

This year, brands have embraced AI integration to provide customers with unique shopping experiences, marking a significant move towards AI-driven shopping interactions. Wenwen, Tmall and Taobao’s AI shopping assistant, engaged over 5 million users by generating product recommendations based on customers’ questions and input. Virtual try-ons and even virtual influencers have joined livestream campaigns, taking the shopping festival beyond deals and discounts.

The world is your shopping cart

Despite a three-year market closure, demand for cross-border shopping remains strong for Chinese consumers. Our US affiliate network saw a 135% increase in clicks YoY, which suggests customers are actively browsing and engaging with promotions.

Across Europe, the UK saw a similar trend to China, where shoppers are making early purchases during the Singles’ Day pre-sales. Our UK network data shows an average of 19% increase in sales YoY the days leading up to the event. Brands based in France and Germany also saw a surge in sales. In particular, brands on our Germany network doubled in sales YoY four days leading up to Singles’ Day. These insights suggest that Singles’ Day is becoming increasingly popular in Europe, with more brands participating each year and shoppers eagerly anticipating the event.

Learnings from Singles’ Day success

Singles’ Day in 2023 has set a new benchmark in global e-commerce. As we look ahead, the fusion of AI, luxury branding and experiential shopping is set to redefine consumer expectations.

Here are some top tips from our Shanghai team to help you prepare for Black Friday, Lunar New Year and other upcoming shopping festivities:

  • Competitive discounts: Offer exclusive discounts using tiered commissions, limited-time flash sales and pre-sale promotions to distinguish yourself in the intense competition of key retail dates.
  • Innovative campaigns: Leverage China’s high social media penetration rate by collaborating with influencers, hosting livestreaming campaigns and creating authentic content that deeply resonates with your target audience.
  • Cross-platform engagement: Invest in mobile adoption and partner with publishers with a strong presence across various channels, including WeChat Mini-Programs, Little Red Book, Douyin and more, to enhance your campaign.

As we reflect on the success of Singles’ Day 2023, it’s evident that the global e-commerce landscape is rapidly evolving. This year’s event not only showcased the immense power of early sales and luxury brand engagement but also highlighted the rising importance of AI in enhancing customer experiences. These trends are set to shape the future of online shopping, presenting exciting opportunities for brands and marketers.

Let us show you how to make the most of these insights and create innovative partnerships that outperform. Get in touch with our team or visit today.

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Rakuten Advertising

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