The traditional retail calendar, dominated by holidays like Valentine’s Day and Christmas, is undergoing a consumer-driven shift. New retail events like Amazon Prime Day, Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale, and Sephora’s VIB are creating new peaks in consumer spending throughout the year.
These consumer-first moments have reshaped the retail calendar, dictating when and how consumers shop. People see these new retail holidays as opportunities to save and make smart purchases, with incentives like deep discounts, elevated Cash Back rates, and BOGO offers.
Rakuten has embraced the new holiday calendar and, along with Rakuten-specific events, integrated key moments into our strategy to bring shoppers back to the platform throughout the year. Two consumer-led holidays, often overlooked in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday chaos, are Singles Day and Green Monday. Let’s take a closer look at these two holidays, how they came to be, and how retailers can capitalize on engaged shoppers during these days.
What is Singles Day?
Singles Day, also known as Double 11, is a Chinese shopping holiday that’s grown from a day of flash sales to a multi-day shopping bonanza. The unofficial holiday takes place each year on November 11th, chosen for its resemblance to four solitary bare sticks. It began in the 1990s as a way for single students at Nanjing University to claim their own Valentine’s Day and celebrate their singledom. Singles would often splurge on a gift or two.
In 2009, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba spotted an opportunity to profit and began offering exclusive deals and discounts on Singles Day. The original idea behind the first Singles Day was to promote Alibaba’s shopping marketplace, Taobao, and use the day as an opportunity to generate additional revenue before the holidays, according to Forbes.
Only 27 brands participated in Alibaba’s first Singles’ Day event, according to research from the International Institute for Management Development. The event generated about $7 million in sales – a small fraction of what the shopping extravaganza sees today.
Since then, Singles Day has become the biggest online shopping day in China, arguably bigger than Cyber Monday and Black Friday combined. In 2022, 290,000 brands from all around the world offered deals and sales reached a record-breaking $157 billion, surpassing the previous record of $139 billion set in 2021.
Singles Day participants won pre-Black Friday shoppers
This holiday season, consumer spend is being driven by an increased demand for deals. Savvy shoppers took advantage of the early-bird deals taking place this Singles Day. On top of the deals, Rakuten members stacked 11% Cash Back on partner brands and products. As a result, Singles Day participants saw a 230% increase in sales, 198% increase in shopping trips, 205% increase in orders, and an 8% increase in average order value (AOV) when compared to the week prior.
What is Green Monday?
Green Monday is a popular online shopping day that falls on the second Monday of December, typically one to two weeks after Cyber Monday. It is said to have been coined by eBay in 2007 after noticing consistent spikes in sales on that second Monday.
Green Monday has become widely adopted in the retail industry. Several online retailers and e-commerce platforms have embraced the shopping holiday, using it as an opportunity to attract and reward shoppers with enticing deals, discounts, and promotions after the Cyber 5. In 2022, Green Monday generated over $5 billion in online sales.
December is a make-or-break month for retailers, with Green Monday often being the last major sale before Christmas. As consumers rush to get their gifts on time, retailers should capitalize on this demand by offering strong discounts and deals. Pro-tip: If your shipping deadline is quickly approaching, buy online pickup in store (BOPIS) offers a convenient way for shoppers to take advantage of Green Monday deals and still receive orders on time.
Use Green Monday to capture last-minute deal-seekers and reward Cyber 5 shoppers
Green Monday is just days away and we anticipate 2023 shoppers will stay engaged as they look for the next round of discounts and deals following Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
This Green Monday, Rakuten members can earn 10% Cash Back on hundreds of their favorite products and brands. Last year, brands that participated in Green Monday saw a 76% increase in sales, a 63% increase in trips, a 53% lift in orders, and a 15% lift in average order value (AOV) when compared to non-participants. Don’t miss the opportunity to participate and capture savvy holiday shoppers.
Book Green Monday and the rest of your December on Rakuten here.