Analysis of payment data from Ingenico shows that the historically Chinese festival has now become a truly global phenomenon. Growth was particularly strong in Latin America, North America, Russia, and across key markets in Europe. Ingenico processes online and mobile payments for many of the world’s biggest companies, including some of China’s most prominent marketplaces.
Russian consumers, for instance, completed more than 10 times as many transactions on Singles’ Day as on an average day. They also spent significantly more per transaction than they would normally, with a 35% increase in Average Transaction Value. Together this represents an almost 15-fold increase in total spending, highlighting Russia’s embrace of Singles’ Day.
In Latin America, growth was most pronounced in Chile, where the number of transactions processed by Ingenico was almost 9 times the normal number. By comparison, growth in the region’s bigger e-commerce markets was more modest, with Mexican consumers completing 91% more transactions and growth in Brazil at 30% - although both numbers are based on much bigger volumes.
In the US, the number of transactions on Singles’ Day jumped 22% from the daily average. While this may seem modest compared to many other international markets, the US is the second-largest e-commerce market in the world, and the spike in sales comes as the country prepares for its Black Friday – Cyber Monday weekend, which traditionally kicks-off the holiday shopping season. Interestingly, Canadian consumers, who don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, completed 61% more transactions on the day.
In Europe, consumer awareness and participation in Singles’ Day sales varied wildly from market to market. Among the biggest Singles’ Day shoppers were the Spanish, where the number of transactions was almost 5 times higher than normal. France and Germany found themselves in the middle of the pack, with transactions increasing by 54% and 15% respectively. In the UK, transactions with Chinese merchants, who are the key drivers behind the success of Singles’ Day, were up 10-fold on the day.
Over the past decade, Singles’ Day has rapidly gained popularity in China, to become the single biggest online shopping day in the world and surpassing more traditional shopping moments such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday. To date, much of that growth was driven by strong domestic demand, with Chinese consumers shopping at Chinese retailers. The enormous increase in Singles’ Day transactions from all over the world reported by Ingenico shows that the rest of the world is rapidly catching up.
While the Ingenico data clearly shows Chinese retailers are increasingly selling to an international audience on Singles’ Day, surprisingly the reverse trend is not as clear. Sales by international retailers to Chinese consumers peak on Black Friday, rather than on Singles’ Day. This indicates that while consumers are increasingly global in their shopping behavior, international retailers are still more traditional in timing their promotions and aren’t yet taking full advantage of the massive opportunity that Singles’ Day represents.