The world’s largest 24-our shopping event happens every Nov. 11, referred to as ‘Singles Day’ which begins at midnight in Singapore and Hong Kong and so far is surpassing last year’s record of 213.5 billion yuan or $30 billion US and the day isn’t over yet.
China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba set a new sales record beating out sales for Black Friday snd Cyber Monday combined by two and a half times.
The online Singles Day shopping event is also referred to as Double 11 Day or 11/11 shopping festival because it falls on Nov. 11 and this year marks its 11th year. During this one day, 24 hour period, huge discounts are offered by Alibaba across its e-commerce websites like Taobao and Tmall.
Singles day originally started on the college campus of Nanjing University back in 1993 to celebrate things single and to give singles an excuse to buy gifts for themselves. Over the last two and a half decades Singles Day began to include all age demographics and no longer discriminates as to whether a person is single or not.
The online and off-line event of Singles Day was launched back in 2009 by Alibaba’s CEO Daniel Zhang and is now spreading beyond China to become a global event.
To help boost sales Alibaba uses live-streaming via its platforms to sell its goods and this year it expanded the number of discounted items. The company also brings in celebrities to talk about products and to speak to its followers.
Alibaba’s Singles Day sales is phenomenal considering China’s slowing economy due to its trade wars with the US government and competition from domestic rivals like JD.com and Pinduoduo. And some of Southeast Asia’s e-commerce platforms have jumped into the annual event even selling discounted items the day before.
Alibaba’s GMW, or gross merchandise value, showed sales across its platforms hit the $12.01 billion mark during its first hour exceeding its total sales back in 2016. Analysts predict that by the end of the day at midnight, sales will reach or surpass $37 billion.
Top selling items of the Singles Day event so far were the 5G version of Huawei’s Mate 30 Pro smartphone and the Apple iPhone11 Pro and Pro Max. And according to Jacob Cooke, CEO of WPIC, which is an e-commerce tech and marketing firm, jewelry and clothing were top sellers from American retailers.
It was thought that with the ongoing trade war between China and the US that American brands would be shunned by Chinese customers but it turned out not to be the case. Cooke told CNBC news that there is no decline in sentiment for US brands.