Ahead of Black Friday, Singles’ Day (11th November) is set to bring sales of £1.7bn to the UK.
According to the VoucherCodes.co.uk Shopping for Christmas report, shoppers are set to up the ante when it comes to Singles’ Day this year, with a projected annual increase of 13.4% in sales. The 2020 figures reveal consumers spent £1.5 billion splashing out during last year’s Singles’ Day, up from the £1.3bn spent in 2019.
Although some British retailers will be offering special in-store discounts on the 11 November, for shoppers there is considerable emphasis on the online deals, which are expected to account for 57.8% of total sales at £996m. This projection is up 15.2% from last year, despite nationwide lockdown measures in place during November 2020 forcing store closures and many retailers’ Singles’ Day promotions to become online only.
Conversely, forecasts for offline sales show a smaller increase of 10.9% in sales, from £656.1m in 2020 to a predicted £727.5m in 2021. Whilst offline sales are bouncing back after the pandemic, this Singles’ Day in-store sales will fall behind pre-pandemic levels.
The annual shopping occasion is set to draw in 7.2 million shoppers across the UK, with 4.1 million anticipated to be women, compared to 3.1 million men. When asked whether they would be making any purchases on Thursday 11 November, almost three in ten (28%) UK shoppers said they intended to buy something.
Anita Naik, Lifestyle Editor at VoucherCodes.co.uk, comments: “After such a tough 18 months, it’s great news for the retail industry to see that this year’s Singles’ Day discounts are set to draw in more customers and more sales than ever before in the UK. With shortages for this Christmas season already making the news, Singles’ Day is the perfect opportunity to bag an early bargain and get started on your Christmas shopping early to avoid any disappointment. To make sure you always get the very best discount available when you’re shopping online, install DealFinder – VoucherCodes’ free browser extension which automatically finds and applies the strongest discounts for you as you shop.”
Head of Consumer Research at ParcelHero, David Jinks, believes that Singles’ Day is likely to be UK retail’s Christmas saviour.
He says: “This year, it’s a chance to avoid looming Christmas chaos and start buying for everyone. Globally, Singles Day is now a bigger online shopping event than even Black Friday or Cyber Monday. ParcelHero’s latest research shows the global spend was over £84bn on Singles Day last year, with £54bn spent on Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s sites alone. UK Singles Day sales reached £1.44bn in 2020 and look set to rise by over 10% this year. We believe Brits will spend over £1.58bn this time round.”
Last year, Brits once again spent more on the day than any other European nation. In fact, only Germany comes anywhere close to UK retailers’ sales on 11 November.
UK retailers such as ASOS, M&S and Waitrose have held Singles Day sales on Alibaba’s Tmall site in recent years, with major UK brands such as Dyson, Burberry and Jaguar-Land Rover joining in the bonanza. UK stores River Island, New Look, Zavvi and Sports Direct have also offered Singles Day deals.
“It is the ideal date for the organised Christmas shopper to grab bargain gifts before the real Christmas rush,” says Jinks. “This year, the first Brexit-era Christmas threatens piled up ports, delivery delays and stripped shelves. Singles Day couldn’t be better timed for early shoppers to avoid all these problems.”
He concludes: “Singles Day really kicks off the seasonal shopping race. It’s not too soon to start looking at the other end of the online spending spree, however. What is the final date for ordering items online and for mailing a gift? ParcelHero’s ever-popular Christmas guide has now returned, revealing all our favourite stores’ final dates for ordering online before Christmas. This year, these dates will be more critical than ever.”