Get Serious about Singles' Day in 2021

Oct 14, 2021
Written by Alex Hart

What started as a fun tradition among college students in Nanjing, China in the 90s has grown into the largest ecommerce day of the year. Singles’ Day expanded beyond the borders of China many years ago and each year we see new groups of shoppers and brands who celebrate.

The 12th year of Singles’ Day as an Alibaba shopping event in 2020 was an incredibly successful one, driving an unprecedented $72.11 billion in sales, achieving a growth of 85.6% YOY. While many in the US are still new to the holiday (approximately 38% of Americans are aware of Singles’ Day), the increased adoption of the holiday for shopping events contributed to a 13% lift in sales on 11/11 last year.

In order to make your Singles' Day 2021 as fruitful as possible, we’ve collected some best practices for use on the holiday, as well as some recommended publishers who will be running on-site events.


Singles’ Day Best Practices for Brands

Commit to the holiday: Due to its proximity to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Singles’ Day offers that are not as strong as your typical holiday offerings won’t perform if shoppers know they can wait two weeks for a better deal. Make sure your Singles’ Day promotions are just as attractive as your Black Friday ones!

Work with multiples of 11: It’s a common practice in China for discounts to be given in increments of 11 (i.e., 11% off, 22% off, 33% off). Keep in mind that the number four is unlucky in China, so discounts in multiples of four should be avoided.

Try multiple days: In recent years, many companies in China have started doing “warm-up events” for Singles’ Day that start as early as November 1st. Since placements will be at a premium on November 11th, you may be able to achieve greater ROI if you book exposure in the days leading up to Singles’ Day.

Keep an open mind: Chinese ecommerce companies are always innovating, and Singles’ Day is often the perfect time to roll out a new promotional model or sales event. If there isn’t a large up-front financial commit, it’s worth testing out something new—you may be surprised!


Publisher Opportunities

As a global network, CJ works with a wide variety of different publishers who celebrate Singles’ Day: China-based publishers, regional publishers in APAC, and US publishers targeting Chinese ex-pats. The breadth of opportunities gives those looking to test out promotion on the holiday plenty of options and flexibility. We’ve highlighted a few different opportunities below:


RebatesMe (4039057)

RebatesMe is a large cross-border loyalty site based in China. Over the last several years, they have achieved outstanding growth and have a large userbase composed of dedicated cross-border shoppers. Their highest performing verticals are exercise, fashion, beauty, and electronics. In addition to a large number of Chinese users, they also have a significant number of US-based shoppers. Their focus is on competitive cashback rates and strong deals for their shoppers, so if you’re planning a big push for Singles’ Day, they would be an attractive target for a partnership.

Singles Day Event: November 8-12


Shopback (4345648)

Shopback is Asia’s largest loyalty shopping site, with over 15M total users and 12M app downloads. They have localized sites for nine different markets within Asia: Australia, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Singapore. They continue to grow at an amazing clip, achieving near 5x growth in H1 2021 with continued growth expected during this Holiday season. Singles’ Day celebrations will be a part of their season-long Shopfest event that will be running in each of their nine markets.

Singles’ Day Event: November 1-11


55Haitao (3791870)

Based in China, 55Haitao is another large loyalty site focused on cross-border shopping. In addition to offering cashback and promoting great offers, 55Haitao has a large and active user forum, as well as a large content team. They’re celebrating their 10th anniversary this year starting on October 10th, which means plenty of warm-up shopping events before Singles’ Day. They offer advice and recommendations for their users on how to best use freight forwarding/drop shipping services, so advertisers don’t need to have international shipping to integrate with them.

Singles’ Day Event: November 5-11


Dealmoon (1899918)

Dealmoon is the largest platform for connecting Chinese Americans with the world’s best brands. In addition to strong offers and robust content created by their team of editors, their audience of over 18M is highly engaged and motivated. 2021 marks 15 years of cooperation with CJ, which shows the depth of their experience with Chinese shoppers and shopping holidays. Singles’ Day is a very large holiday for them, with advertisers who offer strong exclusives seeing a huge boost in performance.

Singles’ Day Event: November 1-12


TopCashBack Greater China (5242677)

The China-facing branch of the popular US and UK-based loyalty site has been seeing very strong growth over the last few years as more and more Chinese shoppers are introduced to cross-border commerce. Similar to their other sites, 100% of TopCashBack’s commission is passed back to their users, making it a very attractive loyalty platform for those looking to compensate for the additional international shipping costs. TopCashBack offers a variety of strong home page and event page placements for Singles’ Day and Black Friday.

Singles’ Day Event: November 1-12 (3434966)

SMZDM is China’s largest deal site, with over 30M page views per day, and 4.3M DAU on their app. Their name in Chinese means “What’s Worth Buying” in Chinese, and their shoppers look to them for the best offers on the Chinese web. They have a strong core of cross-border shoppers, with particular interest in electronics, health, and gaming verticals. Singles’ Day is their largest on-site event of the year by far, but for their cross-border shopping audience, Black Friday is still a big shopping day. Due to the large amount of sales volume they see from domestic audiences, placement fees are required for any bookings on site during Q4.

Singles’ Day Event: November 1-12


Duomai (4044600)

Based in Hangzhou, China, Duomai is the largest Chinese sub-affiliate network. They work with hundreds of high-quality affiliates in China covering many different promotional models. In addition to their network of affiliates, they also work with a large portfolio of influencers (called KOLs or Key Opinion Leaders) who promote brands on various Chinese social media platforms like Weibo, RED, and live streaming services.

Singles’ Day Event: They do not run large customer-facing events as a network, but increased commissions are passed on to their affiliates.

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