Alibaba 11.11 Singles Shopping Event Passes 20 Billion In Sales

Posted November 12, 2017

Held on China's Singles' Day, which falls on November 11, Alibaba Group Holding Limited's shopping extravaganza is among the largest shopping events in the world.

Total sales at the end of 24 hours. This year's sales are expected to set a new record, with over 60,000 brands selling their wares through Alibaba's online platforms. Shoppers also spent $3.39 billion on Cyber Monday previous year, the largest single online shopping day in the U.S., Adobe said.

The yearly display of rising Chinese consumer spending power has become a key date for manufacturers and retailers in the country, accounting for a significant share of annual orders for many businesses.

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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.

More than 90 percent of Alipay orders were placed via mobile, the majority on Alibaba's main e-commerce platform Taobao.com.

Once a celebration for China's lonely hearts, Singles' Day has become an annual 24-hour buying frenzy that exceeds the combined sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States, and acts as a barometer for China's consumers. Alibaba's processors were handling nearly 260,000 transactions per second, according to Bloomberg.

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But environmentalists accuse Alibaba and other e-tailers of fuelling a culture of excessive consumption and mountains of waste. With Alibaba setting the benchmark for growth at 39% in just a couple of weeks time we'll know if the western world is keeping pace with China or if it's falling even further behind.

Alibaba turned 100,000 physical shops around China into "smart stores" for this year's event. Greenpeace said Singles' Day deliveries a year ago created 130,000 tonnes of packaging waste - less than 10 per cent of which is recycled. "We will see tens of billions of dollars injected overseas (by Alibaba)", said Li Chengdong, a Beijing-based independent e-commerce analyst.

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