China Insights
English
English

What have Chinese bought during Singles Day 2017?

Martin Guo

Editor-in-Chief, Kantar China Insights

Shoppers 17.11.2017 / 18:08

Singles Day parcels full

How do consumers feel about their experience on Singles Day 2017? Beyond physical goods, which categories of virtual goods and services are more popular?

China’s Singles Day is undisputedly the largest e-commerce sales event in the world. As it enters into its ninth year, Alibaba announced that its platforms (B2C brand Tmall and C2C brand Taobao) on November 11 alone sold goods worth of 168.2 billion yuan, 39% higher than a year ago. JD.com, another leading B2C e-commerce platform, for the first time announced its Singles Day sales result: goods worth of 127.1 billion yuan were sold during its “11.11 Global Shopping Carnival” (November 1 till 11), an annual increase of 50%.

Then, what do Chinese consumers think of their purchasing decisions and experiences during this year’s Singles Day?

Kantar commissioned Lightspeed to launch an online post Singles Day survey on November 12 while the panellists’ memory were still fresh. The design of the questionnaire has been aligned with our pre Singles Day survey (note 1), which enabled us to compare their intention and actual purchasing behaviour.

When? How much? Any regret?

The earliest sign of another strong November 11 sales was that it took Tmall only 3 minutes and 1 second to break 10 billion yuan mark, which took 6 minutes 58 seconds last year.

This echoed with our survey result: after filtering out those panellists (note 2) who didn’t buy anything during this year’s Singles Day, nearly 60% respondents said they paid their order during 0 am till 1 am (multiple options question). On average, each panellist bought their product/services in 2.4 hour brackets. Probably because this year’s Singles Day was a Saturday, consumers continued their online shopping spree well into late night: the second busiest period was 1 am till 2 am (17%), followed by 9 am till 10 am (16%). Even as the 24 hour shopping festival came towards its end, there were still 9% consumers submit orders online.



Kantar
  • SAVE
  • Close

    SHARE THIS WITH FRIENDS

  • EMBED
    Close

    Copy this code to your blog

In terms of the money people spent, the most mentioned budget during our intention survey was 1,000 yuan to 2,000 yuan (23%) (note 3). However, it turned out that many people had changed their minds because only 19% eventually spent that much. The brackets of under 500 yuan (intended 17% vs actual 21%) and 2,001 yuan – 4,000 yuan (16% vs 20%) are the ones that the actual proportion was higher than planned proportion. And 2,001 yuan – 4,000 yuan is also the most mentioned bracket.



Kantar
  • SAVE
  • Close

    SHARE THIS WITH FRIENDS

  • EMBED
    Close

    Copy this code to your blog

Nearly half respondents (48%) agreed that “I spent more than last year”, while 23% said “about the same as last year”. It is worth noticing that 25% actually spent less than a year ago, 9 percentage points higher than in our pre Singles Day survey. It indicated that for some unknown reason, a significant number of consumers reduced their Singles Day spending, even though they didn’t plan to do so.



Kantar
  • SAVE
  • Close

    SHARE THIS WITH FRIENDS

  • EMBED
    Close

    Copy this code to your blog

Even though some people might regret when they woke up later on the same day, our survey found they were the minority: only 18% respondents who had bought agreed that “I’ve bought too much”. Most of them, 59%, felt that “I bought just right amount”; while 8% regretted that “I bought too little”. The rest 15% thought that “I don’t really care whether it’s too much or too little”.

Categories: winners and bigger winners  

This is the first time that we divided all categories into three major divisions: physical goods, virtual goods and services. By comparing our panellists’ intentions and their actual decision, we can see that virtual goods sold better than initially thought (23% vs 18%).



Kantar
  • SAVE
  • Close

    SHARE THIS WITH FRIENDS

  • EMBED
    Close

    Copy this code to your blog

Among all physical goods categories, apparel turned out to be the most popular category (62%) as predicted. Shoes and foods, two categories whose popularity were neck and neck in our pre Singles Day survey, changed seats in the post Singles Day survey: foods (49%) won by 7 percentage points. This was the second year that we noticed this phenomenon: foods always sold better than initially thought.



Kantar
  • SAVE
  • Close

    SHARE THIS WITH FRIENDS

  • EMBED
    Close

    Copy this code to your blog

Among those who bought virtual goods, 65% bought video website membership, a distant leader compared with No.2 gaming account top-up (48%) and No.3 online service (such as cloud storage) (46%).

Among those who bought services, hotel accommodation (60%), tour services (49%), gym membership (43%) and plane tickets (43%).

Brand power

In our pre Singles Day survey, we noticed that Singles Day, known for big discounts, is also a good window for premium brands to expand consumer base, because 64% panellists said they want to buy the high-end brands they won’t be able to afford during normal days. In our post Singles Day survey, we found that it was realized: 61% buying respondents “bought those brands that I have always liked but haven’t tried because of high price”. The same proportion of panellists “continued to buy the brands I have always bought”.  



Kantar
  • SAVE
  • Close

    SHARE THIS WITH FRIENDS

  • EMBED
    Close

    Copy this code to your blog

Source: Lightspeed, Kantar

Editor's notes

Note 1: The post Singles Day survey was carried out via Internet between November 12 and 13, 2017 during when 853 real ID registered users submitted valid answers. The pre Singles Day survey was carried out via Internet between November 3 and 6, 2017, during when 863 real ID registered users submitted valid answers;

Note 2: On November 11, 2017, about 7% respondents didn’t buy anything related to Singles Day sales/promotions;

Note 3: Some intention proportions were higher in this article than the previous article because in this version we filtered out data by those panellists who said “I don’t plan to buy anything on Singles Day”. This allows us to compare intentional data with actual data from the panellists who bought something on Singles Day.

* To reach the author, or to know more information, data and analysis of China's e-commerce industry and FMCG market, please contact us ;

* Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive news alerts.

 

 

Latest Stories

Since November, 2017, Chinese visitors have had the option to purchase goods with the mobile payment platform WeChat Pay at Camden Market in London.

In the three months by October, the top five brands – Huawei (including Honor), Xiaomi, Apple, Vivo and OPPO – make up 91% of sales in urban China, compared to 79% a year earlier.

P&G, Yili and Mengniu bought by over 150 million Chinese families.

The power of WeChat is so strong that doctors install fewer medical apps, because they find subscribing to medical accounts is enough.

Related Content
Social Network