Foreigners Go Crazy for 'Double 11' Shopping Spree

November 14, 2017
Editor: Amanda Wu

A travel agency's leaflet for a shopping tour to China [zjol.com.cn]

 

November 11, commonly known in China as "Double 11" or "Singles' Day", has also now become a shopping phenomenon that reaches around the globe.

The consumer side of the day was first introduced by China's e-commerce giant Alibaba in 2009 as a way of giving special discounts on products that might appeal to singletons. Shortly after, it made a successful leap to an outright shopping event for all.

This year, the special sales day has become even more boisterous, offering even greater promises, with bargain hunters looking forward to it both at home and abroad.

Shopping Tour to China

One netizen from the U.S. recently shared an eye-catching leaflet from a local travel agency offering a "Seven-Day, Shanghai, Tmall 11/11 Shopping Tour." Tmall is the popular branded e-commerce site owned by Alibaba.

Apart from sightseeing, the tour promises to offer online-shopping tips, goods receipts and packing services.

After American tourists have placed their seasonal orders online on the shopping day, they can continue to travel around Shanghai and elsewhere. When it's time to fly home, the tourists can take along with their purchased goods, that have been well packaged by the agency, on flight.

Shopaholics Well Prepared

Netizens from across the world have left many comments on social media, preparing to join the Chinese shopping rush.

A merchant who often commutes from Japan to China wrote a special blog post to introduce the festival's origins, take stock of the highest sales volumes of previous years and list discounts on some Japanese brands.

In the end, he wrote, "What will my wife and I buy this year? Anyhow, we will first put our purchased goods in parents-in-law's home and later take them back to Japan."

Another Japanese netizen called Toppy noted, "The Chinese Double 11 Shopping Day is just around the corner. This year, I will buy a sweeping robot equipped with a spray function. It costs less than 30,000 yen (U.S.$ 264)!"

Overseas Media's Coverage

This year overseas media have been reporting the Chinese shopping festival earlier than in previous years.

Bloomberg News summarized some of Tmall's highlights and stats: over 60,000 international brands are sold on the site; an evening party will be presented by Hollywood producer David Hill in Shanghai; over 3 million couriers and U.S. $200 million are invested in its logistics network; and, 100 domestic brands are benefiting from Tmall's assistance.

Australian commercial news site Which-50.com focused on their local brands' sales in the past Double 11 shopping festivals. It noted that although Tmall has been mainly aiming at the domestic market, it, for the first time, has taken action to help Chinese brands reach out to the world this year.

In addition, Forbes also published several articles on the Chinese shopping frenzy in October. Regarding its global stage, it mentioned that Alibaba first launched its international strategy in 2016 and will make even greater efforts this year. In addition, JD.com, another Chinese e-commerce company, has also announced to deliver goods to customers from China's Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan without extra delivery charges.

Shopping Festivals around the World

Although foreign shopaholics are getting crazier and crazier about Double 11 Shopping Day, they have shopping seasons in their own countries.

U.S.: Black Friday

In the States, Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year. It falls on the last Friday of November, that is, the second day of the Thanksgiving holiday. When shopping malls open in the morning, customers flock in and rush to buy their favored commodities.

France: 2 Discount Seasons

France has two discount seasons in winter and summer respectively, each lasting about six weeks. Some shopping malls even organize special opening hours. During the seasons the retail industry holds big sales, with the discount rate ranging from 50-80 percent.

Japan: New Year Shopping Season

Japan has the busiest annual discount season from late December to late January. Fukubukuro, known as "lucky bags" or "mystery bags", is a Japanese New Year custom in which merchants fill grab bags with random contents and sell them for a substantial discount. It is reported that many shopping malls have over 10,000 customers queuing up to buy the bags.

(Source: zjol.com.cn/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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