Everything You Need to Know About Couples Day, or Double 12
The lines between romance, relationships and consumerism are becoming blurred, with events like Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, weddings and anniversaries going hand in hand with lavish gifts and elaborate gestures of love. We often feel that words fail us or don’t do our verbal expressions justice, so we buy thoughtful gifts like roses to make a bolder statement.
This emphasis on material objects has lead retail giants and e-commerce stores alike to target consumers at specific times of year, with products they don't even know they want yet. China's market is certainly no exception.
Champagne and Roses are a great gift
The Chinese eCommerce and retail markets have have grown a huge amount over the last few decades, and are estimated to continue to boom well into the future. With retail giants like Alibaba and Taobao dominating the scene, consumers now have access to a new range of products not previously available.
Relationships and Chinese culture
Dating, romance and marriage in China have changed significantly over the last few decades. The one child policy eventually led to a sex ratio that was unbalanced, while traditional values around relationships, marriage and sex slowly started to shift. Culturally, China had a tradition of arranged marriages, as well as a pressure to marry within the same class status. The pressure to do well in school and attend a prestigious college and the focus on extra-curricular activities didn't allow the youth much time to pursue relationships either, and long established ideas on gender meant roles within relationships were heavily prescribed.
Today, dating shows like Momo, Baihe and QingChiFan showcase the shift in how dating is understood, with some taking a more Western approach to television dating, whilst others take a modern twist on arranged marriages, with parents selecting potential partners for their children.
Giving your spouse a bouquet of flowers is a way to show them you care.
The history of Doubles Day, perhaps unsurprisingly, cannot be understood without first learning about Singles Day and the growth in online retailers and customers. Singles Day originated in China in 1993, taking place on 11 November. The significance of that date becomes obvious when viewed as 11.11, or as four ones, representing single status or unattachment. The original festivities included bachelor parties and a celebration of those who were unmarried, but also offered a unique chance for singles to meet potential partners in a strange kind of dating mixer. This has culminated in an increase of weddings taking place on 11.11, and a new interpretation of its meaning as referring to finding, ‘the one’.
Alibaba turned this festival into retail domination in 2009, as a response to the massive sales being transactions on other holidays such as Christmas and Valentines Day, which involved 24 hours of sales combining Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Last year records were broken with over $23 billion being spent, a number that was met within the first 13 hours of the event in 2017.
Only a few years later in 2011, the Alibaba Group founded Double 12 or Couples Day, playing on the same ideas as Singles Day before it. Although not as big as its predecessor, it enabled smaller online stores that may have been unable to fill the stock demands or had less mainstream products than those dominating Singles Day, to participate. The catch was simple: they must offer a lower price than they have offered in the last month.
In 2016, merchant numbers exceeded 70,000, and the countries involved included Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Thailand, Japan, the United Kingdom and France among others, and although smaller vendors are encouraged to be involved, retail giants such as Wal-Mart, McDonalds and K.F.C also take part.
Expanding on an already large consumer base, Couples Day also enables mobile device transactions, which has allowed offline stores and vendors to sell their products.
Couples Day has certainly not yet reached the heights of Singles Day, which has become known as a national Chinese holiday. Alibaba has set a record for the most number of payment transactions per second, which reached the astonishing high of over 200,000. Having said that, Couples Day in 2020 is expected to reach $655 billion in online transactions, which is a phenomenal figure considering its relative infancy.
If you're looking for a gift for a loved one on couples day why not get some flowers delivered from Roses Only Singapore.
At Roses Only, our flowers are groomed to portray floral mastery. Nurtured by the worlds best growers equatorial instead, each rose reaches an impressive 65cm in length within their 15-week growing period before being distinguished by color and character. Each stem is then carefully placed in our elegant, signature gift boxes which, never fail to secure a transcendent first impression. Around here, quality is no mere coincidence.