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Singles’ Day: How Brands Can Win in China’s eCommerce Market

November 8, 2016
Yan Deng
Written By
Yan Deng


The countdown for Singles’ Day started earlier this year for brands who want to win in China’s lucrative eCommerce market. Singles’ Day is the largest online shopping event globally, which first began as a shopping holiday in 2009 by Chinese eCommerce giant Alibaba.

Nowadays, thousands of brands are popularizing Singles’ Day by offering massive discounts and promotions on its goods, transforming Singles’ Day into a nationwide shopping holiday. Last year, Alibaba made $1 billion dollars in just 8 minutes of Singles’ Day opening, with the total of US$14.3 billion surpassing the previous year’s record of $9.3 billion.

This year, Alibaba expects 40,000 global merchants to participate in the Chinese shopping festival, up from 27 merchants in 2009. Alibaba has also announced innovative ideas for this year’s event, including bridging online and offline shopping and augmented reality.

To win in the Chinese eCommerce market, brands need to understand China’s unique market and develop strategic plans targeted for this market.


Findability is highly competitive in China. Due to the large mix of both first and third party merchants, brands are not only competing with other brands in search, but also with other merchants. A successful brand utilizes factors such as seller rating, product quality rating, sales, conversions, and categorizations to win.


If you have ever experienced shopping on one of China’s eCommerce sites, you may have been overwhelmed by information. However, Chinese consumers are used to seeing the overflow of information on a website, as it provides them with confidence in both the product and seller.

Ratings & Reviews

Many reviews are incentivized in China. Retailers also incentivize shoppers to leave reviews with points that can be used for future purchases. Therefore, shoppers focus more on the actual review text, and not just the rating, when assessing to buy. Brands should understand the sentiment of the reviews to better develop your ratings & reviews strategy.

To learn more about how to succeed in China’s eCommerce market, you might be interested in a recent episode from the Profitero Podcast Series. Profitero’s Keith Anderson and Yan Deng discuss the importance of mobile and other trends that distinguish eCommerce in China, which categories are seeing the biggest online growth, and guidance on how brands can win with Alibaba and JD, China’s biggest online retailers.

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