How E-Commerce is Making Singles Trendy



Are you aware of the regulatory background of the Double 11 e-commerce festival? If not, we have collected the most essential info for you here!

This year the Double 11 E-commerce Festival has been separated into 2 batches available for purchases. The first batch is allocated from Oct. 21st  to Nov. 3rd; while the second will start from Nov. 4th  to Nov. 11th. During each batch, consumers can firstly pay a deposit to order products, before they finish the final payment, in order for brands to have enough time to arrange pre-delivery. Different from previous years, consumers cannot add all items to the shopping cart in advance and settle their account together, which means they will have to decide which items are most needed, so as to reduce server congestion on the e-commerce platform. All these measures were set to reduce the pressure on express deliveries during the Double 11 period.

Even before the start of the usual Double 11 pre-sales war, the “singles” have transformed themselves into "debtors". Some have even joked, "Don’t expect participating in the Double 11 shopping festival to change the fact that we are still single."

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Picture obtained from

Although this is a joke, it is undeniable that since Taobao first planned an e-commerce shopping festival in 2009, within only 9 years, the festival has achieved a sales scale from RMB 52 million in 2009 to RMB 268.4 billion in 2019. Double 11 has completely evolved from an amusing marketing event to one of the most impressive e-commerce shopping festivals of the year.

There are reasons why merchants like to say "purchases make people happy" in order to stimulate consumption, but it is not difficult to find that, in addition to the transformation of the concept of Double 11, the emergence of various marketing initiatives based on the "single" concept, such as mini home appliances, meals for one , the pet economy for singles, etc., are all prominent, and they are on the path to becoming a new business model built around the promotion of consumption for singletons.

So why is the "single economy" in the position to set off a new wave, and what market characteristics and opportunities will it present? Keep reading to find these answers and more!


Kaixiaozao, picture obtained from weibo@统一开小灶

The "Single Economy" Is Becoming A New Consumption Powerhouse

According to a report released by the Ministry of Civil Affairs, there are 240 million single adults in China, and the average age of marriage is about 27 years old, this number has risen to nearly 30 years old in first-tier cities. Such a large single population segment indicates the consumption strength of this demographic group cannot be underestimated. Moreover, it should be noted that singles, especially the younger generation, have very distinctive consumption habits. Therefore, portrait analysis and demand analysis for single people are necessary for both new brands and traditional brands in order to understand how to best match their needs and expectations.

Eat Well, Even When You Are Alone

One of the most recurring habits of single people is to "eat alone", and food takeaways are a typical way to approach this situation. According to the Report on Consumer Behavior of Chinese Singles, the proportion of singles who order takeaway more than three times a week is over 60% but this is only one part of the offline catering industry. There is also an important portion dedicated to the catering and retail sector. Typical examples include instant mini hot pot and instant rice with servings for one person, which have experienced a consistent increase in sales. For example, the popular food brand KAIXIAOZAO launched 130,000 copies in the first batch of pre-sale on Double 11 2020 , and, despite competing with many cosmetic and skin care brands that offer massive discounts, such products were still sold out within 1 minute, thus demonstrating how powerful this market demand can be.

Facilitating The Single Life

This newly found consideration for single people has brought up a whole new series of opportunities to deliver them products suitable to their everyday life, especially with kitchen appliances. The rise of “single” appliances such as mini ovens, one-person electric cups, single rice cookers, mini electric kettles, and small refrigerators acts as undeniable proof. According to the Double 11 Sales data from 2018, the number of sales of mini microwaves and mini washing machines increased by 973% and 630% respectively in that year. What could be defined as the “self-indulgence” that singles have, allows them to focus on their quality of life and advocating for a more luxurious lifestyle, which has subsequently accelerated the growth of the small home appliance market with more subdivided functions and lighter sizes.

The Demand For Entertainment And Companionship Is Fulfilled

Live-streaming shows, online games, and e-books make up the main entertainment activities for young singles. It’s no surprise that these activities do not require direct social interaction, people can do them at home or on their daily commute to work, which greatly facilitates the lives of office workers. In addition, the pet economy is also a hot trend that comes together nicely with the single economy. Ranging from the purchasing of pets, pet supplies, pet medical treatments, grooming, to training and insurance, a whole industrial chain has developed in the pet market. According to the White Paper on China's Pet Industry 2019, the pet market reached 202.4 billion RMB in 2019, with a compound growth rate of over 20% in the past three years.

Looking back at the consumption preferences of singles, it is not difficult to find that these consumers can be described as "pay on their own", which is why they are willing to pay for products carrying the “single” concept. It is precisely because singles are more independent than others, that they are more willing to invest in food, clothing, housing and transportation to give themselves a better life. In other words, they treat themselves well as a way of better handling the single life.

There is still huge potential behind the single economy waiting to be discovered, and the analysis of consumers is one of the eternal themes of all brands and markets. To learn more about consumer psychology and other case studies, please contact us at