Falling on the 11th of November, Singles’ Day is the biggest retail event in the world. Originally a Chinese phenomenon, the event has been quickly gaining traction in the UK – especially for brands that ship to China – but also to kick off promotions during this ‘Golden Quarter’ of retail.

This year, China’s e-commerce giants, Alibaba and JD.com, chose not to disclose their sales figures—for the first time since Singles’ Day’s inception. However, our in-house analysts have closely monitored and uncovered trends from across our regional affiliate networks.

Unsurprisingly, consumer spend slowed compared to the peak of 2021. China saw a quiet Singles’ Day this year, which is in line with our network data. Many retailers are dealing with record-breaking inflation rates and declining consumer confidence.

Singles’ Day performance in the UK

Some good news for the UK, orders were up 5% YoY and traffic came very close to the levels of last year. Conversion was 4.4%, which was up YoY from 3.9% in 2021.

The Department Store (+52%) and Home Improvement (29%) verticals saw the biggest sales growth YoY, followed by Beauty & Personal Care, (+23%) and Apparel & Accessories (+10%).

To dive deeper into the performance of Singles’ Day and what we can learn from consumer behaviour, we looked to our APAC network – where the shopping phenomenon began.

Singles’ Day performance in the APAC region

As Singles’ Day has turned into a multi-day event, sales across China rose by up to 57% in the days leading up to the shopping festival and dipped on Singles’ Day itself. This trend is also reflected in Australia and Hong Kong. Our network data shows that consumers are actively browsing during the Singles’ Day pre-sales, with clicks increasing by up to 37%, 41% and 59% YoY in China, Indonesia and Thailand respectively. Thailand was the only country across the key markets that saw an increase in sales on Singles’ Day.

Our analysts have also examined trends across key product categories on our network. They found that consumers are browsing in the Travel category, with clicks up by 20% YoY during the Singles’ Day pre-sales. Sales from the Luxury category remained relatively flat YoY across all regions. In China, consumers are purchasing Luxury products during the Singles’ Day pre-sales more so than on Singles’ Day itself, but not at the same volume as 2021. Beauty & Personal Care category was the top-performer, increasing by up to 129% YoY during the pre-sales.

Learnings From the Biggest Shopping Festival in the World

While we saw a decrease in sales in most markets year over year, it is important to remember that Singles’ Day is continuously changing, and it is getting bigger every year. Retailers will have to work harder and smarter to convert cautious customers by ensuring brand messaging resonates, launching promotions at the right time and partnering with publishers who can drive conversion.

With the current economic uncertainty, brands will need to shift their focus from generating sales to keeping customers happy. It is crucial to partner with content publishers—from listicles to influencers—to make it easy for customers find products to add to their shopping lists. Partnering with publishers who can reward customers for their loyalty will also go a long way.

Singles’ Day may be over for another year, but peak shopping season has only just begun. To keep up with the Black Friday and Cyber Monday click trends, bookmark the 2022 Cyber Week Insights page and check back regularly for live refreshed data from our advertiser and publisher partners.