Discover what Double Eleven – or Singles’ Day – is and how this special Chinese date can be an excellent opportunity for cross-border e-commerce.
For Chinese shoppers, the most awaited time of the year is not Black Friday, but Double Eleven. Also known as Singles’ Day, the date falls during the transition between autumn and winter in Asia, which partially explains the huge demand for clothing and footwear from the over 550 million consumers in China. But the success of the date goes beyond borders: thanks to the advances in international logistics and payment provider options, consumers all over the world can access a Chinese shopping website and receive products at home. Read on to discover the importance of November 11 for international e-commerce.
Double Eleven was born as Singles’ Day, or Guānggùn Jié (光棍节) in Chinese, an event created in 1993 by students at Nanjing University. Students wanted a rival for Valentine’s Day and the idea quickly spread among universities across the country. Its name in English comes from the day chosen for the celebration: 11/11.
What was an entertainment festival became a commercial date in 2009 with the motto of “presenting oneself”. In its first year, Double Eleven generated sales of US$7 million for the Alibaba Group. Today, the event has an opening ceremony featuring international artists, broadcast on nearly 30 digital platforms and TV channels, with revenues running to billions.
Over the years, the event spread to other Asian countries and is starting to appear in Western sales calendars, given that commerce is increasingly becoming borderless. Since 2013, AliExpress, an Alibaba Group company, has led the initiative in Brazil. With the strategy of offering lower prices than on Black Friday, the e-commerce site distributes coupons with discounts of up to 70% during the day.
China is the world’s biggest e-commerce power. According to intelligence company GlobalData, e-commerce: China registered compound annual growth rate of 7% between 2017 and 2021. Last year, Chinese e-commerce posted revenues of US$1.5 trillion, an increase of 15%.
China’s most famous shopping website Jd.com posted revenues of US$117.9 billion last year. Together with the second and third ranked Chinese e-commerce sites – vip.com and suning.com – the store accounts for 10% of all online revenue in China. Cross border e-commerce was not considered in this assessment, only Chinese stores that sell inside China.
In the 2021 Double Eleven, one of the most efficient strategies to attract the Chinese public was Live Commerce, which is also a trend in Brazil.
At the Alibaba Singles’ Day event, Austin Li, an influencer known as “the Lipstick King,” helped sell US$1.9 billion in products during the Taobao Livestream, which lasted 12 hours and registered over 250 million views. PL Livestream PL Li PL Alibaba
Social Commerce, mainly through the Chinese platform Tik Tok, is another significant driver of online sales.
Forecasts are optimistic. According to Statista, Chinese e-commerce is expected to reach US$ 1.4 trillion in the sum of all the months in 2022, with user penetration of slightly over 70% and average ticket of US$1.35 thousand. By 2025, the market volume is estimated to reach US$1.6 trillion, driven by 1.2 billion users, who will represent 83.9% of the Chinese population in online purchases made in China.
When it comes to cross border e-commerce, China is once again ahead, offering consumers around the world the opportunity to buy diverse products, especially technological products, at very attractive prices. Apparently, there is also a trend towards opening this market to foreign merchants. In early 2022, the JD.com marketplace signed a partnership agreement with Shopify allowing online stores in the US to sell to Chinese customers. Before that, in 2021, the Alibaba group opened the doors of the AliExpress marketplace to Brazilian e-commerce.
For Brazilians, buying from China has not been a mystery for several years now. Among the 5 international e-commerce sites that sold the most to Brazilians in the first half of 2022, 4 are Asians: Shopee, AliExpress, Shein and Wish. The categories most searched by Brazilians during the period were “Fashion and Accessories” and “Electronics.” Note that 54% of Brazilian e-shoppers had one cross-border experience from January to June 2022, such as buying directly from China. This data is from the Webshoppers 46 report produced by Nielsen IQ Ebit in partnership with Bexs Pay.
It should be highlighted that Double Eleven is not restricted to Chinese e-commerce alone. Brazilian giant B2W, a Bexs Banco client with international operations in the Americanas Mundo portal (imported products), started its Double Eleven venture in 2019 through coupons for progressive discounts on products imported in its platform.
Brazil and China have had trade relations for a long time, involving increasingly significant amounts of money, whether through the import of manufactured goods or the export of agricultural products. More recently, cross border e-commerce between the countries has been gaining prominence.
If you have an e-commerce business in China, want to sell to Brazil but don’t know how to access this market, you can start by choosing a payment provider that automatically converts the currencies so you can offer the best buying experience for Brazilian consumers and, subsequently, receive the sales amount in your preferred currency at your preferred bank. Contact our specialists and explore our solutions: Payout – cross border payments and Payin – processing of local payments.