Why Singles’ Day is a ripe opportunity for Aussie retail brands


Move over Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Singles’ Day - the unofficial Chinese holiday that celebrates being single - is now one of the world’s largest online shopping sprees, especially in Asian communities.


Thrive’s APAC Comms Lead, Diana Pong explains why it should be a date in every Aussie retail brand’s marketing calendar.


Singles Day - 11/11


Many of us would have heard of Singles’ Day - originally from China - that came about to celebrate the joys of being single.


Held on November 11, chosen for the way 11/11 resembles four ‘single sticks’ - also a Chinese term used to describe bachelors - it is now a global shopping extravaganza and key opportunity for Australian brands to reach consumers in Mainland China.


Aussie made, Aussie fave

Australia is already well known for its high-quality assurance and quality control among Chinese consumers. In 2020, approximately 800 million Chinese shoppers snapped up "over $1 billion" worth of goods, with Australian brands being the fourth most popular overseas products, following Japan, the United States, and South Korea1.


Local brands such as Bubs baby formula, A2 milk, and fashion retailer Net-a-Porter have already made inroads in achieving success selling to Chinese consumers in Mainland China. And with some travel restrictions still in place, we are continuing to see consumers more willing to spend on gifts for themselves as well as friends and family.


Secrets to success

For a brand to be sought after by overseas consumers, it needs to be present on relevant media channels and platforms to be seen by local Chinese consumers and to be one step closer to selling to lucrative markets such as China.

  • Engaging with multicultural media and local communities in Australia is often an overlooked part of a brand’s strategy, but when done effectively, it can be a great way to tap into Asian audiences;

  • While many local Chinese media have shifted from print to online, they often have their own WeChat platforms and mobile apps to expand their reach to their target audiences;

  • Working with local, multicultural media on paid partnership opportunities is another effective strategy;

  • Word of mouth and referrals from friends and family play a vital role in getting Chinese consumers to try new products and services. Engaging local Chinese influencers on a pay-to-play arrangement would be a good start. AriaAndBrandon, the Melbourne-based Vlogging duo on Little Red Book (Xiaohongshu) has over 2 million followers and works with a number of beauty brands in Australia;

  • In China, brands are already using influencers to tap into the opportunities that Singles’ Day provides. In 2019, Li Jiaqi, (who has over 51 million fans on Taobao), won over women all over China by live-streaming “the most lipstick applications to models in 30 seconds”, raising more than US$145 million in sales and earning himself the title of China’s ‘Lipstick King’.


With as many as 5% of the Australian population estimated to have Chinese ancestry in Australia2, Singles’ Day should be an ongoing strategy for brands to creatively reach these audiences. But like the Great Wall of China, building brand love in the eyes of consumers won’t be built in a day!


1ABC News

2 BBC News 2020


Diana Pong heads up Thrive’s APAC Communications team and is based in Melbourne and can be reached at diana.pong@thrivepr.com.au


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