Every year, in the U.S. we are bombarded with Christmas sales as soon as Halloween is over, and sometimes even before. We have been told that the biggest shopping day is Black Friday, followed by Cyber Monday. While that may be true in the U.S., the largest shopping day in the world is China’s Singles Day, which falls on November 11 every year.

Shopping Frenzy

Singles Day shopping frenzy was instituted by Alibaba’s TMall to promote focused shopping on a single day. It started in 2009, and has taken off since then, becoming popular with China’s younger generations. Singles Day is a 24-hour shopping extravaganza which is promoted heavily to China’s population. This year’s event reached revenues of $14.3 billion with many familiar names participating including Macy’s, Apple and Estee Lauder.

Beijing Promotion

Alibaba Group brought in big international celebrities to help promote this event in Beijing, including Daniel Craig and Kevin Spacey during a televised event. A big push is on bringing in brands from outside the country which are enthusiastically sought by Chinese consumers. The promotional tactics paid off with over a 40 percent increase in revenues from 2014.

E-Commerce an Influential Factor

Mobile transactions are a big part of Singles Day sales. 72 percent of the first hour-and-a-half’s merchandise sales were transacted via mobile. E-commerce is a strong factor in how much this shopping holiday is growing. Benefactors include online vendors including Amazon.cn, who are beginning to offer promotions around this event. Analysis of the 2015 event will be forthcoming over the next few weeks.

While China’s consumption in some areas is still weak, it is evident that the e-commerce sector is alive and kicking.