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Bankinter Consumer Finance predicts that, in three years, ‘Singles’ Day’ will be a strong trend

The fourth ‘bankintercard’ Report shows how large e-commerce platforms have capitalised on and expanded certain circumstantial events to turn them into worldwide business milestones in very few years.

‘Singles’ Day’ (also known as ‘11.11’) is taking off in Spain, a port of entry for consumer trends in Europe, as part of an initiative that pushing Christmas shopping even earlier and driving singles and non-singles alike to treat themselves.

On the rise in Spain and boosting consumption, singles spend the most, in relative terms, with credit card (in 2018, 2,650 euros a year per person on average), and have increased their spending the fastest (+11.6%) from 2016 to 2018.

In only a few days, ‘Singles’ Day’ (also known as ‘11.11’), a new milestone for purchases, will take place, causing Christmas shopping to come even earlier. This consumption phenomenon, based on a more individualistic and hedonistic philosophy (in line with the lifestyle of singles), invites everyone, singles and non-singles alike, to treat themselves.

According to Bankinter Consumer Finance’s fourth annual ‘bankintercard’ Report: ‘Singles’ Day, a new consumption phenomenon’, ‘11.11’ and other phenomena from the last decade (such as ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’) are changing the dynamics of consumption very quickly. These phenomena are related to transformations of the modern world, marked by such aspects as increasing digitalisation and globalisation, the rise of new social and family models, and by how fast economic cycles are changing.

For Alfonso Sáez, chief executive officer of Bankinter Consumer Finance: ‘If we consider the process followed by recent phenomena like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we can conclude that, if it follows a similar progression, ‘Singles’ Day’ could be totally entrenched in Spain by 2022, in only three years.  It is a phenomenon that is becoming a global consumption event, with more and more consumers taking part every year, whether they are singles or other profiles who see the date as a change to treat themselves with their online purchases’.

Opportunity, globalisation and connection to consumers.

The fourth ‘bankintercard’ Report analyses the most significant consumption phenomena in recent years, which share some common traits: an

- Many of these phenomena come about as a circumstantial event or occurrence, and not directly as an organised sales campaign.

- They tend to have a local origin, in a specific country (United States, China, etc), and become a global phenomenon following their success there.

- A commercial group identifies this movement as a business opportunity, capitalising on the date and transforming it into a time to boost sales.

- The initiative aims to connect with consumers.

- There is a ‘contagion’ effect between consumers, underpinned by social media and by ‘word of mouth’.

- This stimulating role has currently been taken on by large e-commerce platforms.

- Other commercial brands and physical and online platforms have joined the phenomenon.

In Spain, it should also be noted that the special characteristics of domestic consumers (generally more impulsive than in other European countries) have led Spain to become a port of entry for new consumption trends in Europe.

In this regard, psychologists and anthropologists note that Spanish society keeps an interest and very close attention to the various market developments and trends. Furthermore, the open and sociable attitude of Spaniards helps to make consumption trends increasingly more ‘contagious’. 

11.11 has arrived in Spain to remain.

‘Singles’ Day’ came about ten years ago as an initiative in China by a group of students in reaction to Valentine's Day. Since then, it has become a large consumption phenomenon that is growing to other markets, thanks to Alibaba Group.

In 2018, Alibaba Group broke its global sales record on Singles’ Day (which it calls ‘11.11 Global Shopping Festival’) with a 27% spike in sales. On that date, it got a record 180,000 international brands to join the celebration, compared to the 27 brands with which the platform had started its sales initiative. In Spain, the expansion of ‘Singles’ Day’ was driven by AliExpress, Alibaba Group’s e-commerce platform which many brands and businesses have joined.

Spain is a key market on 11.11, despite it being a developing phenomenon here. In fact, in 2018, Spain had the second highest number of orders on AliExpress, behind Russia.

Singles, a growing driver of consumption.

Even though 11.11 is a shopping event for all types of consumers, it originates with ‘singles’, a term that now transcends its traditional meaning. Singles are a group on the rise. According to Spanish Statistical Office (INE) data from 2018, Spanish families are increasingly smaller, and 25.5% of households in Spain are made up of only one member.

For many, being single is a new lifestyle that embodies the philosophy of the new consumer in the digital age. It is a consumer profile that is becoming more important as a driver of consumption and, thus, harbours a considerable business potential for many companies in Spain.

According to the fourth ‘bankintercard’ Report, spending among singles is growing the fastest: 11.6%in just two years (from 2016 to 2018).

Based on a survey of Bankinter Consumer Finance Customers:

- Singles spend the most on shopping at the supermarket (33% of their expenses), petrol and other car-related items (16%), and restaurants and bars (12%).

- Since 2016, spending on leisure has increased among men by 12.5%, while it has decreased among single women by 1.3%.

- If singles’ incomes were higher, 32% would put them toward travelling, and 16%, toward leisure and entertainment.

- 25% feel that they are saving more than a few years ago, compared with 19% of all families who share this opinion.

- Singles make the most purchases online. In particular, 24% made their purchases online in 2018, as opposed to 20.5% in 2016.

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