What 48 Million User Sessions Tell Us About Singles Day 2018 – The World’s Biggest Digital Spending Spree


Michal Barash

November 16, 2018 | 2 min read

Singles Day 2018 — also known as 11/11 — concluded on a high note for Chinese eCommerce giant Alibaba, after the group announced a record-breaking $30.8 billion worth of sales in just 24 hours. Alibaba is not the only brand to see sales rocket during this one-day self-gifting extravaganza — a ContentSquare analysis of 48 million user sessions showed a spike in conversion rates and an increase in customer engagement during this highly commercialized day.

Not surprisingly, the biggest leap in conversions is observed in China, where the average conversion rate across a sample of luxury and travel sites increased by 94% on desktop and by a spectacular 344% on mobile over the previous day. The ripples from the event can also be felt in the US, where desktop sales increased by 50% and mobile sales by 58% between 11/10 and 11/11. In both regions, brands appear to be maximising mobile to unleash their flash sales. The average mobile conversion rate increase in France (+13%) and in the UK (+11%) show that smartphone users from these regions are not falling for the converting frenzy of Singles Day as enthusiastically as consumers in China and the US.

Singles Day 2018 driving online engagement

One thing that is true across the board is that luxury and travel brands are definitely capturing their audience’s attention on 11/11. Mobile bounce rates in the US drop by almost 10% during the event, and smartphone users also consume more content than on average, viewing 14.50% more pages and increasing their average session time by 13%. In China, brands are driving a particularly high level of consumer engagement, with mobile users viewing 39% more pages than they did on 11/10, and extending their browsing sessions by 83%. The mobile bounce rate for shoppers in China drops by 23% — an interesting statistic when you consider that mobile traffic also drops by 6% during Singles Day. The opposite trend is observed in France, the US and in the UK, which boasts the highest mobile traffic increase of all four countries (+9.5%).

With content consumption peaking around annual shopping events like Singles Day, Black Friday or Cyber Monday, brands need to make sure they are delivering the experiences that will keep their audience rapt all the way to conversion. And with these publicized spending sprees driving a greater share of mobile traffic than usual, it is vital to make sure customer paths are optimized for the small screen. We compiled a report packed with advice on how brands can leverage a greater understanding of their customers’ behavior to achieve greater ROI during the holiday shopping season.