Singles’ Day 2017 – The World’s Largest Retail Event

Posted by Rhiannon Farrar on Nov 15, 2017 5:00:25 PM
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Singles’ Day emerged as a tradition among Chinese students in the mid-1990’s, in 2009 Alibaba launched its first Singles’ Day sale online, and in 2016 Singles’ Day eclipsed Cyber Weekend to become the world’s largest retail event. 

Fast forward to November 11th 2017, Singles’ Day exceeded expectations with US$25.3 billion in sales made during the 24-hour event. That’s a 39% increase on 2016 sales, with US$7 billion in sales being made within the first thirty-minutes.

As international brands look to expand into Asia, the most lucrative ecommerce market, Singles’ Day augments their strategy. And much like the way Cyber Weekend has globalised and been embraced by consumers worldwide, Singles’ Day has cultivated consumers across the globe.

Many brands are leveraging low-risk, low-cost performance marketing channels such as affiliate marketing to expand beyond their national borders and enter new markets. The Rakuten Marketing Affiliate Network has been a major player when it comes to assisting brands globalise. Through our global network of publishers, and a team of local language experts based in our Singapore office, we’ve successfully increased sales for our brands, and aided them in capitalising on Singles’ Day. 

As we work with brands to meet their goals, we’re constantly examining the data and incorporating learnings. After exploring the 2017 affiliate data, we’ve ascertained:

It’s not only China:
Sales from China remain strongest experiencing 246% Year-on-Year increase. However, afer examing data from the Rakuten Marketing global networks, it was Australia that experienced the second highest number of sales growing 11% from 2016, this was closely followed by South Korea who garnered a 50% surge in sales. Notably, affiliate sales in Hong Kong rose 183% YoY.

Apparel & Accessories overtake Luxury
This year, sales from brands in the Apparel & Accessories category overtook Luxury, to become the top performing vertical, with sales on our Australian Network increasing 172% YoY.

That’s not to say Luxury sales weren’t impressive. Luxury sales on the Australian network experienced 24% YoY growth. Further to this, the Luxury vertical trailed only Travel as the vertical with the strongest Average-Order-Value (AOV), with Luxury basket value increasing 11% YoY.

When examining AOV, the Home Improvement category experienced the highest growth at 213% YoY and Department store sales rose 68%.

Partnership Diversity is Key
Cashback and Loyalty publishers have retained their top position as drivers of sales, growing 81% YoY. This was followed by Shopping sites, who increased sales 109% YoY, and then Content publishers who experienced a surge of 249% in sales. 

Sub-networks drove the strongest AOV, increasing basket value 40% YoY. Notably, whilst not a top driver of sales, Deal and Coupon sites joined Content Publishers and Sub-networks in the top three publisher categories driving the strongest AOV.

Singles' Day has well and truly cemented its position as the world's number one retail event. The data futher demonstrates, that brands not yet embracing the event, whether it be on a global or local level, are missing a key opportunity to capitalise on sales. 

For information as to how Rakuten Marketing can help your brand capitalise on Singels' Day, visit or speak to an expert at 

Topics: Affiliate News