Alibaba's annual e-commerce extravaganza is about to begin.
And as the Chinese retail giant has searched for more brands to participate, retailers around the world will support the biggest shopping event of the year.
Alibaba & # 39; s Singles Day debuted on November 11, 2009, as a day for those people who are not in romantic relationships to celebrate themselves by shopping online. The 24-hour phenomenon trounces Amazon's Prime Day. In fact, it is expected to generate more sales than the US shopping holidays Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and spend on Thanksgiving Day, according to Adobe Analytics.
Adobe, which checks online transactions for 80 of the top 1[ads1]00 Internet retailers in the United States, has predicted the five-day stretch from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday this year will bring in $ 29 billion in online sales. Alibaba's single day in 2018 made over $ 30 billion, and the number is expected to grow.
"Think of 11.11 as the Super Bowl for brands," said Jiang Fan, president of Taibao and the Tmall businesses in Alibaba, in an interview with CNBC. "It's an opportunity to pull all the stops to wow Chinese consumers."
Alibaba reveals the event with top fashion shows and concerts. This year, American pop singer Taylor Swift will perform at the "Countdown Gala."
The company says it has grown to more than 200,000 participating brands from 27 in 2009, and 60,000 in 2017.
The impressive sales figures, and all around fuss, make the event one that several US companies find ways to participate on – even those who don't attend Prime Day on it.
About 24% of US retailers say they plan to promote Singles & # 39; s promotions, said Adobe, after conducting a poll of 402 US retailers that are selling for more than $ 500,000 dollars. This will include deals on Alibaba's platforms in China and on dealers' US websites. Previous Snap Items For example, Imran Khan's new fashion site, Verishop, says it will sell a 25% off website sale.
Alibaba states that participating global brands include Apple, Estee Lauder and even some younger start-ups such as sneaker manufacturer Allbirds, which is using the event to promote a new sustainability ad campaign.
"Some of the most innovative marketing campaigns and new product launches come from US brands this year," Fan said. "I think all eyes are on us [and 11.11] every year to see what the future of retail looks like and how we can best succeed in the Chinese market."
US-China trade tensions may hit US brands participating in singles One day this year, however, said a separate study by Alix Partners.
Seventy-eight percent of people believe that the consumption of American brands during Singles & # 39; Day will be affected, while 70% say the trade war will affect their overall purchase. AlixPartners surveyed 2,022 Chinese consumers about their intentions.
Factors behind the warm feeling include both the possibility that American goods will cost more than competing Chinese goods, or that Chinese consumers will choose goods made outside the United States. Still, companies should participate regardless or risk falling behind on Chinese consumer radars, according to the company.
"Businesses must take action if they are not already selling during this event, as Singles & # 39; Day Participation has become a barometer of a brand presence in the market," said AlixPartners CEOs Jason Ong and Michael McCool in the report. "Brands are often judged by their success in this event, so they can't afford to miss a significant sales team."
AlixPartner's study also predicted that clothing, footwear and sports items would be top sellers this year, followed by beauty products and lifestyle electronics.
On Singles & # 39; Day, "[the] China is a consumer market in China, and US brands and retailers need to think about whether they want to expand to China – if they have products that have an advantage over local or other foreign brands, "said Charlie Poon, an analyst in the consulting group Coresight Research, in an interview.
Alibaba shares have climbed more than 36% so far this year. The market price has grown to about $ 487 billion.