It’s no wonder that multinational companies talk so much about a China strategy.
Even when putting together all the biggest U.S. shopping holidays, Black Friday, Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday, and Amazon’s Prime Day—sales from Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s Singles’ Day still come on top, according to data compiled by Fung Global Retail & Tech.
Consider this: Christmas shoppers taking advantage of Black Friday promotions spend roughly $3.3 billion last year according to the report. Thanks to the “Thanksgiving creep,” sales on Thanksgiving Day were at $1.9 billion. Cyber Monday sales clocked in at $3.5 billion—resulting in total sales of about $8.7 billion as consumers prepared for the gift-giving holiday season.
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Adding in Amazon Prime Day sales in 2016, estimated to be around $525 million in 2016 (and between $1 billion to $2.2 billion this year), the total spent during these U.S. shopping days total over $9.2 billion.
That same year, the shopping extravaganza known as Singles’ Day raked in $17.8 billion on November 11 (11.11) according to FGRT estimates.
That figure does not include other days of the Singles’ Day shopping event. As with the gradual extension of Black Friday shopping into Thanksgiving Day, Singles’ Day has grown to be more than just a one-day event.
“The hype around Singles’ Day has also been on the rise,” the report noted. “What started as an occasion for single people to celebrate their independence has evolved into one of the biggest gifting occasions in China, appealing to all consumers, whether they are single, married or in a relationship.”
That comes as China’s middle class is fast growing, according to a 2017 Brookings Institute report. While the U.S. middle class is expected to account for $4.7 trillion of spending in 2015 through to 2030 in purchasing power parity terms, China’s middle class was said to spend $4.2 trillion in 2015. In 2030, that figure is expected to grow to $14.3 trillion.
In short: don’t expect the Christmas shopping to surpass the allure of celebrating “singleness” any time soon.