The holiday shopping season is upon us. Along with the extraordinary spike in traffic due to holiday spending, comes a Chinese celebrated holiday and possibly bigger opportunity to earn commissions and generate sales this season. An overlooked online shopping day in the U.S. is on the rise, raking in a record $14.3 billion in a single day last year alone for the Chinese merchant, Alibaba. Black Friday? Cyber Monday? Nope—it’s Singles’ Day.

What is Singles’ Day?

Simply put, Singles’ Day started in China a few decades ago as a day to celebrate being single. Since the 90’s, Chinese students have celebrated their single-ness with parties and dinner dates with other single friends. This holiday has since evolved into one of the largest online shopping days in the world, according to Wikipedia. The 11th of November (11/11) marks the annual shopping extravaganza that was popularized by Alibaba in 2009. It has continued to grow into a massive retail phenomenon that includes several days of deals—an increasingly lucrative opportunity for online retailers.

To put the numbers in perspective, Singles Day 2015 was more than double the total e-commerce sales from Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.Fortune Magazine

Opportunities for Merchants

Singles’ Day isn’t just for Chinese merchants; Alibaba expects over 40,000 international merchants to participate this year. Merchants from all over the world can join the Singles’ Day shopping event by providing deep discounts and exclusive offers for the one-day sales event. Many merchants will use Singles’ Day to test the effectiveness of their offers prior to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Offers that perform well will be reused and those that don’t will be tweaked or replaced.

Beauty and apparel products tend to go the fastest, but any compelling offer has potential for Singles’ Day sales. The key to a successful Singles’ Day is to have an offer as competitive as one for Black Friday or Cyber Monday—consumers need to be compelled to buy now rather than wait a few weeks for a potentially better deal.

Opportunities for Affiliates

Singles’ Day is a great way for affiliates to ramp up their promotions earlier in November when there tends to be a lull in sales compared to the rest of the holiday shopping season. Creating dedicated seasonal landing pages and sending out Singles’ Day newsletters are effective strategies to garner your customers’ attention for this holiday shopping event.

U.S. consumers are less familiar with Singles’ Day than they are with other annual shopping holidays, so it is important to pique their interest. Promoting the most compelling offers for Singles’ Day could persuade consumers to buy products earlier than usual, potentially resulting in steadier revenue numbers throughout November. This is especially true for merchants running deals throughout the week leading up to Singles’ Day.

The growing popularity and global success behind Singles’ Day provides a huge opportunity for merchants and affiliates to jump-start their promotional efforts for the holiday season.

GearBest is an excellent example of a LinkConnector merchant equipping their affiliates with multiple Singles’ Day promotions to help fuel greater conversions on 11.11.16.

Will you be touting Singles’ Day promotions?

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