Chinese consumers on Alibaba's Singles Day will spend less on American goods: report

66% of Chinese consumers say they'll buy domestic brands, AlixPartners found

Chinese consumers on Alibaba’s Singles Day will spend less on American-made products.

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U.S. retailers won’t be cashing in on Alibaba’s Singles Day sales from Chinese consumers, new data suggests.

On Singles Day, 57% of Chinese consumers said they plan to spend less on American-made products. (iStock) 

Singles Day, an unofficial Chinese holiday that morphed into a commercial retail holiday, is celebrated every year on Nov. 11 and has become one of the country's biggest online shopping days thanks to the efforts of retail platform Alibaba, which helped make the date as synonymous with consumerism as Black Friday is to U.S. consumers.

But Singles Day won’t be as lucrative for American brands this year, as 66% of Chinese consumers say they’ll buy domestic brands over foreign ones, new data from global consulting firm AlixPartners found.

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The firm polled more than 2,000 consumers from across China for its third Singles Day survey and found that the majority of participants cited “patriotism” as the main reason why they’re choosing to buy Chinese-made products over foreign (62% this year compared to 51% in last year’s survey).

And U.S. brands will be most impacted on the Singles Day consumer behavior shift. More than half of Chinese consumers (57%), said they plan to spend less on American-made products like clothes, accessories, beauty products and sporting goods in 2020 as compared to 2019. And 39% said they plan to cut back spending on European-made goods too, the survey found.

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“Singles Day 2020 will be a key barometer of how well the immense Chinese market is recovering from the lockdowns of earlier this year and an important indicator as to what the year ahead may hold for other markets,” David Garfield, global co-leader of the consumer products practice at AlixPartners and a managing director at the firm, said in a statement.

“It will also be a test of whether Western brands can take advantage of pent-up demand in China and break through what seems to be a waning love affair with foreign products, even luxury ones," Garfield added. "Western brands would be wise to look for ways to make their products not only as attractive as possible but also as accessible as possible, including through channels such as live streaming."