The True Meaning of Singles’ Day is Enormous Commercial Activity


Last week, the unfortunately named Alibaba once again celebrated its made up holiday, Single’s Day. Once again, Alibaba scored record sales, and once again, made Black Friday in the US look cute. Not that anyone outside of Jeff Bezo’s house is keeping score, but one company handled $25-billion in transactions in one day, compared to the entire US retail market moving $3-billion on Black Friday of 2016.

No one remembers the true meaning of singles day: single people attempting to fill deep emotional holes with material objects. First, Singles’ Day was co-opted by non-singles, but now even robots are participating. The sheer size and scale of Singles Day, from the number of merchants participating, to the number of items for sale, to the incredible amount of people shopping, has forced Alibaba to turn to AI, drones, chatbots, and probably heavily armed killbots.

Singles’ Day is a big deal. But I’d be willing to bet that we’ll stay on top when it comes to softer holiday retail metrics, like door-buster related tramplings.