Don't get left on the shelf next Singles' Day

Discounted towels. A bargain toaster. Half-price baby formula. Not your usual shopping list when you think of treating yourself, yet these are some of the deals that were bought on yesterday's Chinese Singles' Day, writes Heidi Myers of Meltwater.

Don't get left on the shelf next Singles' Day, warns Heidi Myers
Don't get left on the shelf next Singles' Day, warns Heidi Myers
It is named and timed for the date that consists of four ‘ones’. Singles’ Day, or 11/11, is pitched as the antithesis of Valentine’s Day and is an occasion for single people to celebrate single life by taking part in some discounted retail therapy. 

So why should PR professionals care? 

The 24-hour retail extravaganza has now evolved into what is described as the world’s greatest online shopping fiesta with a record number of foreign brands including Nike, Topshop, Burberry, Uniqlo, ASOS and Estee Lauder taking part yesterday. 

Forget Black Friday and Cyber Monday, two of the largest and most notorious shopping events – they are small fry combined to the $6.1bn spent by China alone during this year’s Singles’ Day. 

With 37,000 mentions on social media platforms on 11 November, Singles’ Day shows no sign of slowing down. 

Whether you work in-house or have clients that could benefit from this lucrative event, Singles’ Day should be incorporated into PR plans.  

It’s not just singles who take advantage of the bargains on offer and go on a spree and it’s not just the Chinese either. 

Ex-pats living in China use the opportunity to stock up on discounted Christmas presents and gifts for themselves, and the trend is beginning to cross China’s borders as well. 

Also, with many retailers now reportedly backing out of Black Friday due to the negative impact on their brand and wanting to focus on Christmas sales instead, Singles’ Day could be the perfect replacement.
It’s associated with a positive and uplifting feeling of rewarding yourself after pay day (often the 10th of the month in China), rather than the scrum and fighting that is often associated with trying to bag the best bargain on Black Friday.  

PR professionals need to take the time to educate their clients about the popularity of this retail holiday and understand the positive impact it can have on brands. 

Simply tailoring PR campaigns and planning ahead will ensure the secret to success for retailers. Like Cyber Monday, these online retail events are growing from strength to strength. 
By ensuring it’s in your plans at the start of 2016, you can prepare well in advance to guarantee you maximise the chance of PR success. 

Retailers should work closely with their PR teams to start preparing now for an even bigger and more profitable event in 2016, or risk missing out to those that do.

Heidi Myers is marketing and comms director, EMEA, for Meltwater

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