Alibaba, Chinese e-commerce giant, sold over $25 billion of product on the Chinese biggest online shopping date, code-named ‘Singles Day’ November 11, 2017.
Data available on the site of the e-commerce giant indicate that online shoppers spent 163.8 billion RMB, that’s roughly $25.3 billion, in gross merchandise volume (GMV), which is used to measure a dollar value for all sales on a platform.
Specifically Alibaba handled 1.48 billion transactions during the 24-hour period worth 163.8 billion RMB, represents an impressive 39 percent increase on last year’s sales total of RMB 120.7 billion ($17.79 billion), and it comes nicely on the heels of another blockbuster quarter in which Alibaba’s revenue surged by 61 percent thanks to its core business in China.
The figure represents sales processed through Alibaba’s online payment system Alipay.
At the peak of the day’s transactions, 256,000 payments were being processed per second on Saturday, the firm said, more than 90 percent of them placed via mobile.
Rivals such as JD.com also reported brisk business on the day.
Analysts expect Chinese e-commerce retailers to take “Singles Day” – which originally celebrated the idea of being unattached – abroad as growth rates slow in the years ahead.
Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported that more than 140,000 overseas brands participated in this year’s promotion.
“Alibaba looked to elevate this year’s 11.11 from a shopping day to a virtual holiday,” the company said in its statement, “complete with a motto – ‘Wishing you a Happy 11.11’ – that closely resembles the sort of greetings Chinese all over the world exchange at the Lunar New Year.”
For comparison, Alibaba’s ‘Single’s Day’ haul puts America’s largest shopping days in the corner. Retailers pulled in a record
$3 billion on Black Friday and then $3.45 billion on Cyber Monday, both of which were records.
The year’s numbers also signal a return to growth for Single’s Day (11/11) sales, an important area that investors will look at and Alibaba needs to show progress on.
While the jump isn’t as much as the 60 percent Alibaba saw yearly from 2013 to 2015, it is up on last year’s 32 percent which is impressive given the scale that the event has reached today and the growth that Alibaba’s business has seen since then.
The holiday began as a promotion for TMall started by current CEO Daniel Zhang, who was then in charge of the business unit, as a way to make single people feel less lonely, but it has since blossomed into the world’s largest single shopping date by some margin.
GMV is off the charts, but it is important to note that this is not revenue for Alibaba. The company makes money from e-commerce in two main ways. It charges a commission and ‘store fee’ to brands that are accepted to Tmall; Taobao doesn’t charge fees to merchants, it instead makes money by charging them for ads that boost their product/store visibility.
It’s important to note sales in RMB and USD due to varying exchange rates
This year’s 11/11 got off to a fast start with around $7 billion of goods sold in the first 30 minutes of the day alone. Alibaba went on to surpass last year’s $18 billion total after just twelve hours of sales.
Another important metric is mobile. Not only does a higher number mean that Alibaba is reaching new/newish Internet users, but mobile users tend to be more engaged which is obviously an important goal.
This year, Alibaba said 90 percent of sales were made on mobile, which is upon 82 percent for 2016 and 69 percent in 2015.