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Established 1996
Thursday 09 April 2020


UK retailers ‘missing out on Single’s Day bonanza’

Written by Peter Walker

Thousands of British companies are missing out on Single's Day, the shopping event that took place yesterday in China and saw gross merchandise volume (GMV) of $38.4 billion generated by Alibaba alone - an increase of 26 per cent compared to 2018.

New research from JGOO revealed that of those Chinese citizens currently buying British goods online, 85 per cent intended to purchase more, with 15 per cent intending to increase their expenditure by over 10 per cent.

The digital commerce firm commissioned research with 1,581 Chinese citizens, conducted on online Chinese survey website Wen Juan Xing. It also commissioned market research company Consumer Intelligence to interview 318 senior and middle management staff working for British companies across a range of sectors.

When asked about obstacles that are preventing them from trading in China, 27 per cent of the managers surveyed said they had a previous poor experience of trying to sell to this market which put them off trying to do it again.

One in five said they did not know how to sell in the country, or where to go to get support, while 16 per cent said they did not have any Chinese employees and that this has deterred them from targeting China.

Richard Morecroft, director and co-founder of JGOO, said: “Singles Day is a huge event in the retail calendar year, and for many UK retailers this should be one of their biggest marketing events of the year – with the right help, many can successfully break into the Chinese e-commerce market and benefit from the huge and growing interest in British goods there.

“Our research with British businesses reveals that of those currently marketing goods and services in China, 67 per cent say sales in this market have grown over the past 12 months.”

David Lloyd, Alibaba's managing director for UK, the Netherlands and Nordics, said: “Beyond the big numbers, Alibaba's Global Shopping Festival offers a fascinating insight into the future of retail in China - for the brands that take part, it's not just about sales and engagement, but brand-building, using entertainment, data-driven product innovation, consumer insights and star power to attract shoppers.

“One of the most exciting new trends in consumer engagement is livestreaming – particularly for international brands looking to reach new customers," he added.

Meanwhile, recent research from Rakuten found that three quarters of Chinese shoppers are making Single's Day a focus for gift shopping this year, with 40 per cent expressing clear interest in buying from UK brands - yet just one in five UK luxury fashion marketers are actually focusing their holiday marketing campaigns on Single’s Day this year.


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