Luxury and Fashion Dominate Singles’ Day as Chinese Consumers Seek Unique Experiences

22 November 2023

Chinese consumers continue to flock to e-commerce platforms for Singles’ Day, with luxury and fashion brands experiencing significant growth. However, changing consumer attitudes and the proliferation of year-round discounts raise questions about the future of this shopping extravaganza.

Singles’ Day, the annual shopping festival in China, has once again captured the attention of consumers across the country. E-commerce platforms like JD.com and Tmall have witnessed a surge in sales, particularly in the luxury and fashion categories. This year, brands went beyond offering attractive deals, focusing on creating unique experiences for consumers. From personalized gifts to AI-powered animations and private livestreaming sessions, luxury brands aimed to bring the offline luxury shopping experience online. However, as the festival matures, concerns arise about consumer fatigue and the need for e-commerce platforms to revamp their strategies to maintain the excitement surrounding Singles’ Day.

Fashion and Luxury:

Luxury brands have embraced Singles’ Day, with more than 200 luxury labels, including Gucci, Burberry, and Ralph Lauren, joining the festivities on Tmall. These brands released a staggering 100,000 new products, including limited edition items and co-branded models. The results were impressive, with sales of Gucci, Burberry, and Ralph Lauren surpassing the entire sales of the previous year’s Singles’ Day within the first hour. On JD.com, Dior, Tiffany and Co., and Bottega Veneta saw their turnover increase by over four times compared to the previous year. Valentino emerged as the big winner on the platform, experiencing a sales growth of over six times compared to last year.

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Beauty Dynamics Change:

In the beauty and skincare category, domestic skincare label Proya stood out, achieving a remarkable sales growth of over 120 percent on JD.com. Alongside Proya, international brands like L’Oréal, Lancôme, and Estée Lauder remained popular choices for consumers on both JD.com and Tmall. However, this year witnessed a shift in the rankings, with local Chinese skincare labels surpassing international brands in sales. L’Oréal, despite ceding the first place to Proya, secured the top position as the best-performing fast-moving consumer goods brand on Tmall. Niche perfume houses, such as Jo Malone London, Tom Ford, and Yves Saint Laurent, also gained traction among Chinese consumers, indicating a rising preference for unique fragrances over heritage brands.

Categories on the Rise:

Beyond fashion and beauty, other categories also experienced significant growth during Singles’ Day. With the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics 2022, sales of ski-related items, such as goggles, jackets, and pants, increased by over 100 percent on JD.com. Chinese gold jewelry brands, like Chow Tai Fook and Chow Sang Sang, saw their sales grow by more than 100 percent. Victoria’s Secret, which recently embarked on a new global brand refresh and China strategy, witnessed a sales growth of over 200 percent in the underwear category. The rise of these categories reflects changing consumer preferences and the influence of cultural events.

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Conclusion:

While concerns about consumer fatigue and the proliferation of year-round discounts persist, luxury and fashion brands continue to thrive during Singles’ Day. The festival provides an opportunity for young consumers to purchase their desired luxury pieces with discounts or installment offerings, while also receiving complementary gifts. For brands, participating in Singles’ Day allows them to reach potential buyers and engage with them directly. As the festival matures, e-commerce platforms must adapt their strategies to maintain consumer interest and excitement. With improving living standards and a deeper understanding of luxury brands, young Chinese consumers are driving the success of heritage houses and designer brands during this shopping extravaganza.

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