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Singles Day: Is the region missing out on a massive earning opportunity?

Singles Day, China's version of Black Friday, rakes in major bucks every year.

According to Forbes, 11.11 Singles Day has become by far and away the largest shopping event in the world, raking in just over $30 billion in gross merchandise volume last year Chinese megacorp Alibaba is credited with creating this Chinese shopping festival The event marked its 10th anniversary last year, where Alibaba sales hit $25 billion vs $17.8 billion in 2016

Alibaba’s first successful Singles Day shopping festival launched in 2009 has grown to become the biggest chinese exported e-commerce fest. This year alone, the multi-billion dollar event is set to break global records as forecasted by Forbes and CNBC. In direct competition with Black Friday, how is 11.11 prone to develop its reputation in the UAE?

It all started in 2009 as a home-grown shopping festival in China. Soon, it became a global phenomenon partly due to the invasion of chinese products worldwide but mostly because of the logistical accuracy and the well developed trade between China and the rest of the world. “Made in China” label deserved to have its own festival, in direct competition with Black Friday. 

In 2019 the UAE has become a strong partner for China’s business interests in the region. With a massive growth of chinese investment in the UAE and with a great segment of clients purchasing chinese products from China’s powered e-commerce platforms, we wonder how strong 11.11 event is across brands in the country and what its future is.

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Admitad, a global affiliate marketing company, compared data from the sales generated on its platform in 2018 during Singles Day and Black Friday within the MENA region. Data shows that in 2018, Singles Day sales in the category of hypermarkets overpassed transactions in the same category during Black Friday.

During Singles Day sale online users  placed 1253  orders from online hypermarkets, that totally equalled to transactions  of $154,695 while during Black Friday the amount of online orders from the same category of online hypermarkets was 370 online orders   equalling  just $87,057 only. 

This massive difference on the shopping festival that is not as popular as its competitor Black Friday, shows the potential of another profitable vertical in the annual sale calendar for the UAE’s e-commerce giants. 

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Specifically, 2019 is set to become the biggest year yet for the chinese festival, with billions of dollars estimated earnings. “Think of 11/11 as the SuperBowl for brands,” said Jiang Fan, president of Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall businesses, to CNBC in a comment regarding this year’s event. “It’s an opportunity to pull out all the stops to wow Chinese consumers.

According to Forbes, 11.11 Singles Day  has become by far and away the largest shopping event in the world, raking in just over $30 billion in gross merchandise volume last year—and sales are expected to hit $37 billion by that same metric this year, citing  Forrester Forecasts. The e-commerce festival is anticipated to be bigger and more international than ever in 2019, with Alibaba increasing the range of items on sale and adding 1 million new products on offer this year, the company said.

With global overwhelming global numbers taking over the consumer’s bargain hunt, November might become one of the most profitable months for the UAE based retailers if the coming years 11.11 will become a successful adopted event. 

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