Alibaba’s Singles’ Day is retail gold

The annual online shopping festival has another record-breaking 24-hour event

TRD WEEKEND EDITION /
Nov.November 11, 2017 01:52 PM

(Credits: main photo: Pixabay; Alibaba logo: Charliepug/Wikimedia Commons; Amazon logo: Szk7788/Wikimedia Commons)

You’re better off on your own! Alibaba’s been trying to tell us all along, like all good friends do when they see the writing on the wall, but a record day of sales may just prove the point once and for all.

On November 11 in China, Alibaba Group Holding’s annual shopping festival, Single’s Day, recorded $8.6 billion in sales in the first hour with a total of $25.3 billion in sales for the entire day, according to Bloomberg. The day began innocently enough in 1993 at Nanjing University as a day to revel in singledom, according to Forbes; Alibaba’s online shopping festival for the event began in 2009 as a self-affirming excuse to buy a lot online with the knowledge you’re sticking it in the face of the retailers who cater to couples on Valentine’s Day, but now it’s become the showground for Alibaba’s blossoming rivalry with Amazon.

Alibaba, the Chinese online retailer akin to Amazon who’s also eyeing global expansion, uses Singles’ Day to test its supply-chain and update local Chinese retailers’ computers systems so that they can get in on the event by acting as delivery and storage centers.

The 2017 shopping day had a 39 percent increase in sales with at least 82 brands earning about $15 million in sales in 24 hours. Shoppers from more than 200 countries were buying and 90 percent of purchases were made from cell phones. Alibaba’s processors were handling almost 260,000 transactions per second, according to Bloomberg.

With those numbers, not Black Friday, Cyber Monday or Valentine’s Day, can compete with Singles’ Day as of yet.

[Bloomberg] — E.K. Hudson


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