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44% respondents plan to buy more during 2017 Singles Day

Martin Guo

Editor-in-Chief, Kantar China Insights

Shoppers 09.11.2017 / 19:11

Happy Singles Day full

Lightspeed survey shows that Tmall, Taobao and JD.com are most mentioned e-commerce brands ahead of this year’s Singles Day. The world’s largest e-commerce event also offers great opportunities for premium brands to grow user base.

In the running up of the world’s largest e-commerce sales event Singles Day on November 11, Kantar commissioned its online survey platform Lightspeed to measure Chinese users’ plan for this year.

About 10 years ago, Chinese young people jokingly named each year’s November 11 as “Singles Day” because all digits for this day are the lonesome “1”. Alibaba Group saw a commercial opportunity and in 2009 launched an online sales festival to “celebrate” the Singles Day. Now it has become the world’s largest e-commerce as Alibaba’s platforms (B2C brand Tmall and C2C brand Taobao) alone sold goods worth of 120.7 billion yuan in 24 hours.

According to Lightspeed survey during November 3 and 6, Chinese netizens are most likely to shop at Tmall (76%), Taobao (63%) and JD.com (57%), in which Tencent owns a significant stake – the trio formed a distant first tier platforms. Amazon.cn (16%), Suning (15%) and VIP.com (15%) formed the second tier.

Even though the competition for winning shoppers online has become more fierce, our panellists showed the total spending during Singles Day will surely increase: 44% said “I will spend more than last year”, followed by 30% said “more or less same as last year”. Only 14% said “I will spend less”.

In terms of budget, the largest bracket is 1,001 – 2,000 yuan (22%), followed by 501 yuan – 1,000 yuan (18%) and 2,001 – 4,000 yuan (5%). About 2% said they have prepared more than 10,000 yuan for this annual occasion!

As e-commerce becomes more sophisticated in China, Chinese consumers are looking for things beyond physical goods: while 89% said they plan to buy physical goods, 19% said they would buy services online and 18% mentioned virtual goods.

The hottest physical goods categories are apparel (71%), shoes (51%) and food (48%), followed by three key important FMCG categories: household goods (39%), personal care goods (35%) and cosmetics (34%). On average each respondents plan to buy goods from 4.48 categories.

Paid membership of online video sites (49%), financial products (44%) and online services (such as cloud storage) (37%) are most mentioned virtual goods.

Among services, people mentioned tour services (54%), hotel accommodations (47%) and plane tickets (31%) most.

Our survey also asked brand attitudes during this Singles Day. Lots of respondents regard this as a rare chance to try out their preferred premium brands which they usually couldn’t afford: 60% said “I will buy those brands that I have always liked but haven’t tried because of high price”. It clearly offered an opportunity for premium brands to launch smaller-volume packages to lure more consumers to try them out and grow penetration rate.

According to Kantar Worldpanel and Bain &’s 2017 China Shopper Report Vol. 2, the key to growing market share is to boost penetration.

Brand loyalty will pay off on this day as well: 51% said they would continue to buy the brands they have always bought, only 14% said they would try unfamiliar brands simply because they’ll be cheaper on this day.

We will repeat this survey shortly after Singles Day to compare consumers’ actual behaviour with their claimed intentions so to paint a more accurate picture. Please stay tuned.

Source: Lightspeed, Kantar

Editor's notes

* The survey was undertaken by Lightspeed through its online survey panel. It collected 863 valid answers from its real-ID registered panellists from November 3 till 6. They came from all provinces on Chinese mainland except from Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. The male vs female ratio is 1.06:1. Among all users, 58% finished the survey through mobile devices;

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

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