Jan 4, 2019
As we enter the new year and reflect on some of the big things that 2018 brought to ecommerce and digital marketing, it’s impossible to ignore the continual impact of Singles’ Day.
Singles’ Day is the single largest online shopping event in the world.
To see just how big this retail event really is, this past November two of CJ’s Account Managers went out to Beijing to spend Singles’ Day with JD.com—the second largest ecommerce site in all of China. In 2018, JD brought in $23 billion in revenue its eleven-day Singles’ Day campaign, up 26% from 2017.
CJ associates Linda Shui and Daron Melkonian found that while they knew Singles’ Day was a big deal, they had no idea just how huge it was until they got to China. Read on for their first-person experience with Singles’ Day As guests of JD.com.Singles’ Day is not a one-day shopping event, nor is it a time to stand in crowded malls fighting over the last item in stock. Far from it. Singles’ Day in China is a multiweek celebration, bringing together people across all demographics. The lead up is larger in scale than what we see in the U.S. for Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. Ads flood train stations, malls, and billboards across Beijing. People can be seen taking selfies and group photos, posing with an index finger on each hand raised to the sky, signaling 11/11. To put it lightly, we were blown away by the magnitude of this event and the overall presence JD had in Beijing.
Our experience walking around the city was nothing short of enlightening. Thousands of locals and tourists were walking around Tiananmen Square (equivalent to our Washington D.C. area) with Singles’ Day branded shopping bags; some even sported hats and sweaters with 11/11 displayed. Street vendors tried to approach us with their own Singles’ Day sale specials in the hopes of closing a sale. Though it can be a lot to take in at once, we considered ourselves quite lucky to be sharing such a wonderful occasion in the heart of the capital of China with our friends at JD.
The JD offices boast top tier technology from the moment you enter their 20,000-person HQ. The large lobbies play host to hundreds of small groups touring the company during Singles’ Day. Activity stations and photo booths lined the interior of the building, offering plenty of places to capture memories and a chance to win small prizes. One massive video screen exhibited the future of JD.com delivery services, which will utilize drones and an intricate web of localized shipping centers to give viewers an idea of what is to come. As we rode the elevators up to the top floor, everyone was focused on videos of Singles’ Day promos featuring famous Chinese and K-Pop artists. The air was filled with Singles’ Day energy.
JD.com is a very international company. The team we visited is a part of the International Business Group team, and they take pride in how global JD is. Each desk is decorated with the flags of countries for the different markets they work with. JD works with international partners that have expertise in the different markets. While we were there, partners from the US and Europe were also sitting in office to work with JD.
The JD.com team is very inclusive and wants to make everyone feel like a part of the team. During the Singles’ Day weekend, they arranged for a professional photographer to come and take team pictures of the different departments at JD. As an invited partner, we stood to the side as the International Business Group team assembled for a picture. When they noticed we were standing to the side, they all motioned and called for us to join in on the picture. They see all agencies as members of the team, not just third-party vendors. Everything was done together while we were there. There were a lot of team pictures, games, competitions, and get togethers throughout our visit.
JD is incredibly passionate about their business, and they go above and beyond for the team and their customers. The most obvious way this was shown was in the amount of time put into what they do. While working late hours, no one mentioned how tired they were or what a long day it had been. Everyone kept asking, “What more can we do?” It was great to be surrounded by this type of energy!