Singles’ Day: The trends reshaping eCommerce
From AI-powered customer service and personalized recommendations to diverse payment methods, Singles’ Day is reshaping the retail landscape. Learn how!
While Singles’ Day started as an Anti-Valentine’s Day, it has quickly transformed into the biggest shopping day and a global phenomenon with estimated sales of $157 billion in 2022.
It was introduced in 2009 by the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group. Since then, not only have Chinese retailers jumped on the bandwagon, but it has also become an accepted shopping day across the world.
What is Singles’ Day?
Singles’ Day (or Double 11), originally called Bachelor Day, is a shopping event that originated in China. The date, November 11 (11/11), was chosen because the number “1” resembles an individual.
The day was initially created by college students in the 1990s to celebrate being single, and it has since evolved into attracting not only single people but also consumers worldwide.
From 2009 until 2022, Alibaba achieved Singles’ Day sales records year after year. For 2022, they didn’t report the exact number. Still, they said the results were “in line with last year’s performance despite macro challenges and Covid-related impact“, with estimated sales of $157 billion.
Because we don’t have more recent data, let’s compare stats from 2021.
Singles’ Day 2023 messaging statistics on our platform:
110 million interactions – a 9% increase compared to 2022.
Singles’ Day is becoming more popular in (besides China):
- South Korea
Set to take place again on November 11, many eCommerce businesses are already preparing their inventories, but what may be helpful is to capitalize on emerging eCommerce trends for an added boost to your revenue streams.
Trend #1: AI-powered customer service
On a larger lens, AI can facilitate rapid and extensive operational enhancements in customer experience.
of brands have reported tangible improvements in the speed of resolving complaints
have observed improved call volume processing using AI
Source: MIT Technology Review
Although there are different types of chatbots, conversational AI chatbots stand out because they can engage in human-like conversations with users. Conversational AI chatbots drive conversational commerce opportunities, enabling businesses to enhance customer engagement and satisfaction. They can analyze contextual data gathered from various sources for retailers to determine areas where they can improve their offerings.
Also, AI chatbots that are available 24/7 can address frequently asked questions, significantly reducing the need for human workforce and customer service costs and enhancing operational efficiency.
After realizing its capabilities, companies like Alibaba have joined other tech brands, including ByteDance, Tencent, and Baidu, and launched a rival product to ChatGPT. This move comes after China approved the use of generative AI services for the public, with new regulations requiring these services to undergo a security assessment to ensure reliability and controllability.
On the other hand, more straightforward keyword or rule-based chatbots provide pre-programmed responses to specific user inputs.
By incorporating machine learning, the potential of a conversational chatbot becomes limitless for brands aiming to enhance their customer service.
Trend #2: Offer personalized product recommendations
Relevant product recommendations are crucial for retaining customers, as businesses that recommend irrelevant products risk losing their audience.
According to McKinsey, personalization can significantly enhance performance and improve customer outcomes. Companies that experience rapid growth generate 40% more revenue through personalization than their slower-growing peers.
Conversational commerce tools can promptly retrieve and assess customers’ browsing and purchase history to suggest products that complement their preferences. Businesses can enhance sales and customer satisfaction by strategically targeting the right audience.
Integrating cross-selling and up-selling strategies becomes more effective when presented as personalized recommendations. However, the difference lies in offering these as personalized recommendations rather than the generic “customers also bought” section typically found in the checkout process.
Additionally, brands can improve accessibility to product catalogs and offer category-specific listings within popular chat apps like Messenger and WhatsApp, enabling customers to browse and purchase products seamlessly.
Trend #3: Diversify options for payment method
of customers expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations
Expanding the range of available payment methods helps cater to consumers’ diverse preferences. By offering various payment options, businesses can enhance the overall shopping experience and boost conversion rates. Therefore, companies need to streamline the payment process to suit their needs.
Brands can integrate various payment methods to help reduce cart abandonment by allowing purchases to be completed within the app, eliminating the need for customers to navigate through cart interfaces, and simplifying transactions with a single click.
In addition, over the past few years, the general utilization of credit cards has declined because of high interest rates, diminishing credit limits, and inadequately executed rewards programs. This trend has paved the way for alternative payment methods, including Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL), which has been increasingly popular in recent years, particularly among the younger generation.
BNPL solutions are often offered to customers with little to no interest rates and hidden fees, meaning no additional cost and a more affordable and flexible payment option for the customer.
Growth rate of BNPL services among Gen Z since 2019
Growth rate of BNPL services among Millennials since 2019
Trend #4: Rise of conversational commerce
The rise of conversational commerce has made shopping much more accessible, enabling customers to discover, research, and purchase through various channels, including social media, company websites, and messaging apps. This trend has simplified the buying process and played a role in reducing the rate of cart abandonment.
Singles’ Day 2023 messaging statistics on our platform:
Mobile app messaging: 46% increase
WhatsApp interactions increased by 6x from the previous year
Email interactions increased 2x compared to last year
Brands can drive conversational commerce opportunities with tools like AI chatbots to manage social commerce efficiently and accurately across all social media platforms and customer conversations.
Brands can offer real-time updates on new products and promotions through comments and direct messages. They can also receive instant customer feedback, helping businesses make informed decisions and involve their customers in the product development journey.
The future of customer experiences is endless
Juniper Research reported that business expenditures into conversational commerce are projected to reach $290 billion globally by 2025.
While Singles’ Day has evolved into a global eCommerce phenomenon, the lifestyle of consumers and accelerated digital penetration rate are setting the stage for innovation and trends to arise.
As brands continue innovating their offering during Singles’ Day, we expect to see more exciting approaches to remain relevant and engaged with customers.
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