Comparison of Amazon Prime Sale and Alibaba 11/11 Sale

Comparison of Amazon and Alibaba
2 MINs

As per the report of forbes, These two extravaganzas are not just carbon copies; each has its distinctive architecture and strategy, reflecting differences in both the two markets they serve as well as in the two companies. Similarities between the two: Scale: Each event is a large-scale shopping holiday built around high volume, deep discounts and thin margins.

What’s Similar?

Multi-market: Amazon has added Australia, the Netherlands and Singapore to its list of participating countries. Alibaba has further integrated its Lazada acquisition to add Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore and the Philippines.

O2O: Amazon will bring its Whole Foods subsidiary into Prime Day, while Alibaba has integrated its Intime department stores and Hema shops, allowing both platforms to reach consumers who are more comfortable with offline than online.

What’s somewhat similar?

What’s different?

Size: Singles’ Day is much, much bigger. In 2017, Alibaba passed $25.3 billion in sales and Amazon hit $2.4 billion (according to Internet Retailer).

Strategy: Singles’ Day is brand-focused, Prime Day is Amazon-focused. Tmall has no “ticket price” or paid membership. But Prime Day requires you to join Amazon Prime to participate. This reflects a difference in strategy: Tmall is trying to sell to the entire nation. Amazon is trying to only reach e-commerce shoppers.

House Brands: The U.S. has a relatively mature consumer market, so Amazon focuses on the value-ad of bundled services. Amazon also uses Prime Day as a tool to drive Prime Membership and to promote its own products, the Echo, Kindle and over 80 private label brands. China has a relatively new consumer market, so Alibaba’s goal is to introduce as many products to customers as possible. Alibaba has stated it will never launch house brands. Singles’ Day is about empowering other brands. It allows these brands to launch their latest products and try out their most creative marketing campaigns. It’s the Super Bowl for brands.

This emphasis on brands also drives the overall results. Every brand in China is beating the drum for Singles’ Day with communications planning starting four to five months out, but in the U.S. Amazon announced Prime Day only two weeks out, not allowing much time for brands to develop a marketing campaign.

Timing: Tmall will start Singles’ Day sales activity one month out with fashion shows and other promotional events, similar to Christmas sales starting just after Thanksgiving. Amazon focuses more on the back end rather than front end, wisely extending Prime Day 12 hours beyond a full day so it will get an echo effect of media coverage and word of mouth.

Summary: If you are in the U.S., you are lucky to have Prime Day, but it is not for everybody. If you are in China, you are even luckier to have Singles’ Day–and it is for everybody. Singles’ Day is a celebration. Prime Day is an online sale.

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