The Globalization Of Local Holidays: China’s Singles’ Day Catches On In US
Columnist Purna Virji explores how a record-breaking sales day in China impacted paid search, and what this might mean for advertisers.
Christmas. Hannukah. Kwanzaa. Festivus. As e-commerce retailers are in the throes of prime holiday shopping bidding wars, there may be a case to add even more holidays to our plans.
If you’re a marketer, you probably took note of the news that November 11, China’s Singles’ Day, broke worldwide sales records with $14.3 billion in gross sales — equivalent to seven times the volume Cyber Monday generated in 2014.
We were curious about the impact this Chinese event may have had on our US stats, so data scientists at Bing Ads (my employer) dug into the numbers. The information they found tells three significant stories:
1. Cross-Border Search And E-Commerce Know No Boundaries
Singles’ Day is an event specific to China, yet it is making inroads in the US, as Chinese living in the US or Chinese Americans also embrace the shopping holiday.
In recent years, the US exported a shopping event specific to our country, Black Friday, to the United Kingdom. Black Friday is now firmly established as part of the British retail calendar.
How To Take Action
China’s Singles’ Day is a day of shopping much like our Cyber Monday. Because of the general nature of the holiday (any retail is desired!), all retail search marketers in the US can experiment with promotions to a targeted location where a higher population of Chinese Americans live. These cities include:
- San Francisco, CA (21 percent of population)
- Honolulu, HI (10 percent of population)
- Oakland, CA (9 percent of population)
- San Jose, CA (7 percent of population)
- New York City, NY (6 percent of population)
- Plano, TX (5 percent of population)
For many of us search marketers, this may be the first time we’ve willfully targeted Plano, Texas (which is a suburb of Dallas).