Singles Day fatigue? Researchers note declining interest

Numerous numerical festivals may be spoiling consumers. But don't worry about Alibaba.

Singles Day fatigue? Researchers note declining interest

CHINA - In its eighth year, Singles Day appears to be losing some of its shine among Chinese shoppers, based on survey results from AdMaster and YouGov.

An Admaster survey has 71 percent of respondents stating that they will take advantage of the sales this year, a drop from last year's 84 percent. 

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A YouGov poll of 1,259 netizens from 1 to 4 November, meanwhile, registered a 1 percent decline in interest for the sales event, with 82 percent of the respondents saying that they are planing to shop on Singles Day.

The trend raises questions for brands about the wisdom of depending on the festival for a sales boost. 

“Singles Day is losing its dominant status in terms of consumer’s attention or key players’ presence,” said Maggie Wang, AdMaster commercial and innovation vice president, in a statement. 

Chinese shoppers could be suffering from fatigue brought on by the numerous numerical-themed ecommerce festivals launched by various platforms. Alibaba’s closest competitor, JD.com, launched its “618” shopping day in 2010, and other festivals include Suning’s “818”, Taobao’s Double 12 and vip.com’s “419” sales day.

“Chinese e-shoppers are spoiled by continuous promotions and immediate delivery," Wang said. "They are also more sophisticated and rational, and looking for more customisation and good reasons to buy."

However, the slight decline in interest is not expected to affect sales for the biggest Chinese ecommerce retailer Alibaba.

A forecast based on a November report from Fung Business Intelligence Centerand reported by Emarketer said Alibaba will enjoy 40 percent growth in Singles’ Day sales, to hit $20 billion this year. Its Taobao platform comes up as the top online retailer among shoppers with Singles Day intent, according to the YouGov poll. Alibaba recorded $14.3 billion in sales last year, and the retailer just announced that it has racked up $5 million in sales in the first hour today.