What is Alibaba Singles Day?
Call it the anti-Valentine’s Day. The date 11/11 is significant because of the solitary implications of the number 1. And it was originally meant for people who wanted to celebrate being single. Though, much like National Pancake Day and Labor Day, it has turned into more of a retail event.
Record Breaking Sales !!!
Alibaba’s Singles’ Day shopping bonanza generated a record $25.3 billion in sales, as the firm’s investment overseas and effort to link traditional retailers with the internet paid off
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s Singles’ Day shopping bonanza generated a record 168.2 billion yuan ($25.3 billion) in sales, as the company’s investment overseas and effort to link traditional retailers with the internet paid off.
The annual frenzy posted a 39% increase in sales, exceeding Citigroup Inc. estimates and defying concerns of an economic slowdown. The event helped at least 82 brands top 100 million yuan in sales—Nike Inc., Xiaomi Corp. and Uniqlo Co. coming out as some of the biggest winners.
To pump sales, the Chinese company also hosted a star-studded gala with film star Nicole Kidman and American rapper Pharrell Williams. Chief executive officer Daniel Zhang said the company wants to make the event more global, and is planning to take its gala overseas soon, without giving a time frame. This year, shoppers from at least 225 countries and regions swarmed the e-commerce giant to scoop up discounted lobster, iPhones and refrigerators.
“We want to make Singles’ Day a more global event,” said Zhang during an interview in Shanghai. “We could take the gala overseas very soon.”
About 90% of transactions were done via mobile. At its peak, the company’s processors handled 256,000 transactions per second.
Citigroup Inc. has predicted transactions will rise by more than 30% to 158 billion yuan this year. While that’s only half the growth rate last year, the event still dwarfs others such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Billionaire founder Jack Ma is using it as a testing ground for his plans to revamp China’s $4 trillion traditional retail sector with technology, an experiment that could help the behemoth gain an edge in China’s saturated market.
“The work that’s been done in the integration of offline and online, not just in terms of the technology integration, but the data and efficiencies for brands and the consumer through personalization has been enormous,” Alibaba president Mike Evans said in an interview on Bloomberg TV. “We see the impact of it in our day-to-day business.”
The date of 11 November emerged as a counter-cultural antidote to the sentimentality of Valentine’s Day. It takes its name from the way the day is written numerically as 11/11, which resembles “bare branches,” a local expression for the unattached.
Now, it’s become an excuse for people to shop and binge on entertainment shows. Hangzhou-based Alibaba is using the occasion to test the limits of its cloud computing, delivery and payments units—businesses that could benefit from roping in traditional retailers as customers.