eCommerce giant Alibaba has announced that it has broken its own record for sales on Singles’ Day, a Chinese shopping event that celebrates people who are single – and the world’s biggest online shopping day in history.
Launched by Alibaba in 2009, Singles’ Day – also known as Double Eleven because it is held on 11 November – has become a major annual event for Chinese retailers.
Alibaba took a record 91.2 billion yuan ($14.3 billion) in sales during its Singles’ Day promotion, $5 billion of which were taken in the first 90 minutes. This compares to last year’s full day record of $9.3 billion in sales.
According to Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang, eight categories (Milk, Honey, Apples, Nuts, Cars, Watches, Cell Phone, and TV) had record high sales.
Xiaomi and UNIQLO were the top performing cell phone and clothing brands, respectively. Best selling international brands included Nike, New Balance, Huggies and Gap.
Live data streaming of Alibaba’s Singles’ Day sales on November 11, 2015
The success of Singles’ Day demonstrates how eCommerce companies can manufacture consumer demand through promotion, a strategy Amazon used in July with its first “Prime Day.” It also highlights how U.S. companies can pursue growth in China.
There are over 600 million Internet users in China whose cumulative buying has propelled China into first place as the fastest-growing and biggest eCommerce market in the world. Over 450 million Chinese consumers own a smartphone.
Data from Alibaba shows that 27 million people were shopping on mobile phones during this year’s Singles’ Day, with mobile transactions accounting for 68% of total Singles’ Day sales.
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