By Sara Wang
Alibaba’s Singles’ Day, the world’s biggest shopping festival, brings in a record of $38.4 billion this year as sales hit $1 billion in the first minute and eight seconds
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba set a sales record on Singles’ Day, the world’s largest 24-hour shopping event. Gross Merchandise Value (GMV), a figure that shows sales across Alibaba’s shopping platforms, surpassed last year’s nearly $30.5 billion (RMB213.5 billion) record on Monday afternoon local time and kept climbing through the rest of the day.
According to Alibaba, Chinese consumers collectively spend $22.63 billion (RMB158.31 billion) in the first nine hours of Singles’ Day shopping extravaganza, up 25% from $18.06 billion (RMB 126.72 billion) at the same point last year, buying everything from consumer electronics to luxury items and even cars. Sales hit US$1 billion in the first minute and eight seconds and reached $11.97 billion (RMB 84 billion) in the first hour, up 22% from last year’s early haul of $9.83 billion (RMB69 billion). Alibaba saw 100 million new users join the shopping festival this year.
At the end of the event, GMV stood at $38.25 billion (RMB268.4 billion), just under a 26% rise from the figure posted last year.
More merchandise is sold online over the 24-hour period than during the five-day US holiday buying spree that begins on Thanksgiving and ends on Cyber Monday. Alibaba's US-traded shares were down 1.9% Monday to $183.70 at 11:25AM in New York.
While the company’s e-commerce marketplaces T-Mall and Taobao are traditionally the mainstays of the annual shopping special, this year’s festival will also include business-to-business e-commerce platforms like AliExpress as well as Lazada, Alibaba’s Southeast Asian e-commerce subsidiary, as the company taps international consumers.
Chinese e-commerce giants record a successful Singles’ Day sales with an estimated total of $74 billion
Figure. 2 Alibaba T-mall is dominating Chinese e-commerce market
Source: Asian Banker Research
Apart from Alibaba, rival sites such as JD.com and Suning have also launched their own Singles’ Day campaigns, to entice buyers to spend on their platforms. JD.com reported the sales reached $23.8 billion (RMB165.8 billion) by 9AM on Single’s Day. Electronics retailer Suning revealed that sales passed $160 million (RMB1 billion) in the first minute after midnight. Dangdang, an online book retailer, said it sold 6.8 million copies in the first hour.