Tuesday 11th November marked China’s largest online shopping event, Singles’ Day which managed to hit new profit highs with retailer Alibaba confirming it sold $2 billion of goods in the first hour – 35% of which were generated by mobiles alone.
The 24-hour retail extravaganza once again made light work of 2013’s sales for both Cyber Monday and Black Friday combined – two of the US’ largest and most notorious shopping events.
Alibaba continued to strive with their sales figure at the end of the day totalling a staggering $9.3bn. With retailers taking more money than ever before how many will wake up this morning regretting their decision to not get involved? Hopefully those that did participate ensured their website was ready in terms of design and navigation and can manage and cater for the sheer amount of traffic they will receive in this manic 24-house period.
On Singles’ Day shoppers are looking to make the most of the heavy discounts and sales incentives available and will be flocking online for a spate of spontaneous shopping. Therefore, if your website is not optimised for Chinese online shoppers they will simply leave and shop elsewhere.
If you are one of the retailers looking to make the most of this event in 2015 then it’s worth considering the following. Don’t cut corners, simply translating your existing website to suit the Chinese market will not maximise profit or customer satisfaction, you need to take your time and consider everything from cultural nuances to page layout.
With Singles’ Day only growing from strength to strength every year, retailers should start preparing now for an even bigger and more profitable event in 2015.
Greig Holbrook, managing director, Oban Digital