In the first part of the 2016 Holiday Report, we took a look at how advertisers and publishers who participated in pre-Black Friday sales and events performed compared to those in the network who did not participate. The first report will focus on Singles’ Day and Veteran’s Day.


  • Singles’ Day and Veteran’s Day, both on November 11, had a strong showing once again. This year, the 11/11 holiday netted 17.8 billion dollars at TMall in China. However, the growth was smaller than in years past, up 32% from 2015, whereas 2015 saw a 60% growth from 2014.
  • Part of the reason why Singles’ Day didn’t see as much growth this year as the year before could have to do with the timing. This year, Singles’ Day landed on a Friday. Rakuten Affiliate Network Analysts have found that Fridays are typically lower volume as far as shopping goes.
  • There could be an argument that Singles’ Day had slower growth from the previous year because as more people learn about the holiday, many are already well aware of the savings they can gain and are already participants. This reflected in the results of advertisers who participated in Singles’ Days with increased sales, such as:
    • High-End/Luxury Stores increasing sales by 4% in the US, 83% in the UK
    • Apparel & Accessories up 25% for advertisers who participated, and 183% in the US
    • Overall, participants saw a 2.6% lift in sales during Singles’ Day compared to non-participants
  • In addition, several other categories saw over 100% increase in AOV, including Department Stores (137%). All this suggests that while YoY growth was smaller by comparison from 2014-15 to 2015-16, consumers are taking more interest in the deals and investing more in shopping earlier in the holiday season.
  • One thing to be mindful of is that, because Singles’ Day and Veteran’s Day fall on the same day, one or both of these holidays could be influential in the results we observed.


  • Singles’ Day participation in the Rakuten Affiliate Network was measured across a specific window of time, from late in the day on November 10 to early in the day on November 12, to ensure that major Singles’ Day markets including China, the UK, and the US were all measured for results. Orders shifted towards the 10th, indicating that the majority of sales were focused on the APAC market.
  • Worldwide participation for Singles’ Day within the Rakuten Affiliate Network was strong, with at least 82 advertisers from key verticals (Beauty, Department Store, Home, and Luxury) participating in promotions for Singles’ Day and Veteran’s Day.
  • Over 70 advertisers offered site-wide promotions for publishers to leverage during this time, and 13 advertisers did exclusive offers for a very small number of publishers.
  • 32 publishers were identified as promoting Singles’ Day or chosen for an exclusive advertiser offer.

Publishing & Devices

  • Mobile devices grew in popularity during this shopping period in a YoY analysis from 2015 to 2016, showing a 31% increase in usage from shoppers. These trends were global, as both AU and UK saw similar growth in usage at 40% and 17% YoY growth, respectively.
  • However, the overall picture showed that PC’s still maintain a commanding lead in usage by consumers. 61% of shoppers in the US used a PC to shop on Single’s Day, compared to 23% using mobile devices and 16% using tablets. The UK mirrored these results, and AU consumers favored PC’s even more with a dominating 77% of shoppers using PC’s during this period, 18% using mobile devices, and just 5% using tablets.
  • In the US market, Cashback/Loyalty sites took the top sales position in publisher categories for Singles’ Day with a 23% YoY increase from 2015. By comparison, Sub-Networks, Shopping/Comparison, and Voucher/Coupon publishing models also contributed fewer amounts of sales during Singles’ Day, but each one had an increase in AOV from 2015.

Key Takeaways

  • The biggest, most important takeaway is that Singles’ Day works. Advertisers who put in the effect saw the lift in results, much like with advertisers who participated in Prime Day and put the effort in.
  • Singles’ Day, the biggest online shopping day globally in the year continues to be a massive success and grow.
  • The influence in the US network has shown growth but may have staggered this year due to the timing of the holiday and other outside circumstances.
  • The growth is promising for publishers and advertisers alike – it shows consumers are more confident in the deals they find earlier in the holiday shopping season and are willing to spend money earlier, thereby expanding the holiday shopping target window.
  • Mobile devices continue to grow in popularity, while PC’s remain the most popular option.

For more global insights into Singles’ Day, check our AU analysis here. Want even more on Singles’ Day? Check out our Singles’ Day case study by clicking below!