Alibaba Hits Record $30.8 Billion Sales on Singles’ Day
Alibaba bested its previous Singles’ Day record with more than 213.5 billion yuan ($30.8 billion) in sales in this year’s 24-hour shopping frenzy.
As of 5:34 p.m. SIN/HK (4:34 a.m. EST) on Sunday, the Chinese e-commerce giant raked in a gross merchandise value (GMV) roughly 27% higher than last year’s tally, which was also a record at 168.2 billion yuan ($25.3 billion).
The GMV indicates sales across Alibaba’s various shopping platforms, a large sum of which reportedly came from Lazada, its Southeast Asia unit.
However, the increase in percentage is lower than the 39% growth recorded in 2017. The company generated 120.7 billion yuan ($17.8 billion) in 2016.
This year’s Singles’ Day marked the 10th edition of the event, which falls on Nov. 11 and runs for 24 hours. It has since been compared to Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the U.S.
Within the 24-hour period, Alibaba offers huge discounts across its platforms. For one, Lazada slashed 90% off the price of certain electronic devices and home appliances.
“Chinese consumers, especially the millennials, are incredibly confident about their futures, and that tends to enable spending, when you feel like you’re going to make more next year than this year,” Jeffrey Towson, a professor of investment at Peking University, told the South China Morning Post.
“It’s commerce but it’s also entertainment, this is not necessarily people who are buying stuff that they need in life, it’s a big festival, it’s fun and there are good discounts.”
The event recorded $1 billion in sales in its first minute and 25 seconds and hit more than $10 billion a little over the first hour. The number of delivery orders surpassed over a billion.
In China, the biggest spenders came from Shanghai, followed by those in Beijing, Hangzhou and Guangzhou. But consumers from so-called “lower-tier” cities with rising incomes also helped the figures.
Consumer Cherry Wang, 29, spent about 800 yuan ($115) on groceries and clothing for the winter. She lives in Hefei, Anhui province.
“I got some discount coupons for Tmall this year as many friends were sharing them on their feeds,” Wang told reporters. “Some of them were really good deals.”
Alibaba is currently harnessing a business strategy called “new retail,” which founder Jack Ma previously described as “the integration of online, offline, logistics and data across a single value chain.”
“When we talk about new retail, we strongly believe that online commercial world and offline brick mortars are not separate worlds,” CEO Daniel Zhang told CNBC. “And if you look at the customer base today, everyone is living in the internet. Everybody is the internet user. You have the same customer base. You must have the same commercial world. It’s all about how to innovate online and offline to a whole digitalized commercial world.”
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