As the holiday season approaches, global affiliate network Rakuten Marketing reveals the impact of China’s shopping day event “Singles’ Day” has had on UK retailers with conversions on the annual day increasing 32% year-on-year.

Based on performance data, retail sales are expected to climb 12% year-on-year during 2017’s holiday season with record figures anticipated throughout Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas.

Early shoppers

Sales growth has been driven by customers kickstarting their holiday shopping early. A separate international survey found almost a quarter (24%) of shoppers started their shopping as early as summer, with a further 59% beginning their purchases by Halloween. It has also been recorded that almost half (48%) of shoppers have already finished their shopping before the start of December.

“Thanks to globalisation and strong promotions from international retailers, consumers are engaging with international events more than ever,” said Abi Jacks, marketing director of Rakuten Marketing UK.

“This year, retailers should expect longer sales cycles approaching the holidays, as consumers take more time to explore multiple promotional options when considering a purchase.”

Singles Day

The domestic sales day which started in China has now become a global phenomenon. becoming the first choice destination for 17% of US shoppers looking to do their online purchases with retailers. The UK has become the second most popular choice for 6% of US shoppers at this time of the year.

Interestingly, the influence of Singles Day has also prompted shoppers to check on sales earlier than usual with the time taken from the first online interaction with a brand to complete a sale being 12% longer than before.


Looking at promotions over the holiday season, offers such as free or on-time delivery and promotional discounts that include percentage off purchases have come into favour. Nearly a quarter (22%) of shoppers in the US will either purchase or spend more with a brand overseas if there are favourable discounts up for grabs.

“The opportunity is enormous but marketers operating in western markets must acknowledge that as commerce becomes ever more globalised, they must consider how to manage their investment across channels to keep their products front of mind.” Jacks concluded.