Black Friday, Cyber Monday Combined Sales Fail To Match China Singles Day

Singles' Day shopping festival in Beijing
Combined sales of Cyber Monday and Black Friday failed to match the $30 billion sales generated by Alibaba during the Singles Day.
(Photo: REUTERS/Jason Lee)

Black Friday and Cyber Monday broke online sales record this year, doubling the growth recorded in 2017. Compared to Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales, Cyber Monday became the largest online shopping day of all time in the United States according to data from Adobe Analytics.

The combined sales of the three shopping events, however, still failed to match the sales accumulated in the one-day Singles Day event in China.

Cyber Monday generated $7.9 billion sales by the end of the day while Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday brought in sales of $3.7 billion and $6.2 billion in sales, according to Adobe Analytics.

In comparison, China's Alibaba on Singles Day generated 30.8 billion in 24 hours. The first billion of sales happened in the first 90-seconds of the day. The sales growth this year was even at a slower pace than the growth achieved in the past years.

Meanwhile, the full season of the US sales day events, from Nov. 1 to 26, generated $58.5 billion in online sales which could still be considered lower given that the sales were generated in almost a month while the Alibaba sales were acquired in one whole day. More so, the whole period was comprised of supposedly different exciting shopping spree day which would have at least tripled the sales of Singles Day.

According to the National Retail Federation, 67.4 million shoppers said Cyber Monday was their most favorite day to shop online while 67 million people said it was Black Friday. This would mean that these two events are considered to be the most popular days for US consumers to shop online. Still, their combined sales only made up 50 percent of what Singles Day generated.

Tiffany Lung, a retail analyst at tech firm Tofugear, told CNBC that Alibaba employs effective sales strategy by through attracting consumers with what they can experience while shopping instead of attracting them with discount prices. The latter is a strategy most common to US companies, Lung said.  

For instance, Chinese participate on Singles Days because it has become a fun and social experience with games and entertainment. The US, on the other hand, holds Black Friday and Cyber Monday as price-driven events.

Lung said that even US consumers were fond of participating during Singles Day, bringing in as much as $1.82 billion in sales this year.

All in all the success of China Singles Day over Cyber Monday and Black Friday could be attributed to the Chinese population which is approximately 4 times larger than the population in the United States. More so, the working middle class in the Asian powerhouse have increased buying power this year compared to the previous years and is expected to grow in the years to come. 

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