UK embraces Singles Day: last year Chinese site Ali Express saw a 59% growth in one-day traffic in UK, SimilarWeb reports



The biggest day of online shopping in the world hits the UK today and judging by last year’s performance, Singles Day, will see a spike for selected online retailers.

Last year, Chinese online giant,, saw a 59% growth in one-day UK mobile traffic luring customers with deals, according to SimilarWeb, the global leader in digital market intelligence.

UK consumers spent double the amount of time on the site on Singles Day last year (12 minutes), compared to a normal daily average of six minutes.

Aliexpress, primarily a platform to connect Chinese retailers with consumers across the world, is owned by internet giant Alibaba, which turned Singles Day into the biggest online shopping day in the world. Retailers sold 278 million items sold worldwide last year, worth $9.3bn, and dwarfing Cyber Monday sales. The site has now emerged as a leading retailer in Russia, Brazil, and France, according to SimilarWeb data.

However, other UK retailers also got in on the act on November 11 last year, according to SimilarWeb’s analysis, with Debenhams seeing a 50% one-day rise in mobile traffic, New Look, 43% and Marks & Spencer, 21%.

In the UK, Singles Day has further to go to reach the top retail days in the UK – Black Friday, US, Thanksgiving and Boxing Day.

Other countries, secured a rise in visitors across the board on Singles Day – with Russia achieving a 42.14% spike on the day for online retailers.

Pavel Tuchinsky, digital insights manager at SimilarWeb, said: “While there is no established tradition for Singles Day in the UK, AliExpress have a solid platform to build upon following a sharp rise in engagement last year. Following phenomenal growth in Russia, Turkey, Brazil and France, it will be interesting to see how they look to crack the UK . Building Singles’ Day into a truly international event could be the next test for Alibaba’s momentum, while attractive, targeted, promotions, could deliver a timely boost to British retailers’ sales.”