Alibaba's Singles' Day is retail gold

by Sophie Craig November 12, 2017, 1:59
Alibaba's Singles' Day is retail gold

Alibaba hosts a large gala on the Friday before Singles Day.

Adding together the sales from the most recent Prime Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the U.S. only total 43% of the sales from last year's Single's Day.

The e-commerce giant will show no signs of taking their foot of the pedal this year, courting more than 140,000 brands and 1 million merchants for this year's festival.

Just a little past halfway through the day Alibaba crossed last year's GMV (gross merchandise value) of $17.7 billion. Market research experts say the massive growth is attributed to retailers competing for a share of consumer spending in China's growing economy. Singles' Day, then, appears to be celebrating a marriage after all-one of cyberspace and reality. It is expected that an estimated 1.5 billion parcels related to the event will be shipped over the next six days to millions of people across more than 600 cities.

More than 90 percent of Alipay orders were placed via mobile, the majority on Alibaba's main e-commerce platform Taobao.com. 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. The Sixth Tone reports that Chinese retailers traditionally put a limit on how many items you can put in your online shopping cart to help "ease operations", encouraging buyers to put in one purchase order rather than multiple transactions that require more processing.

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Alibaba rivals such as JD.com also reported brisk business.

This year, the company will spread its sales to physical buildings, with 10% of China's convenience stores participating.

Greenpeace said "Singles Day" deliveries a year ago resulted in 130,000 metric tons (143,000 short tons) of packaging waste in what it called a "disaster for the environment".

Alibaba launched "Singles' Day" as the Chinese online answer to the late-November US "Black Friday" shopping rush. "We will see tens of billions of dollars injected overseas (by Alibaba)", said Mr Li Chengdong, a Beijing-based independent e-commerce analyst.


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