Alibaba racks up $35b in Singles' Day sales

On November 11 in China, Alibaba Group Holding's annual shopping festival, Single's Day, recorded $8.6 billion in sales in the first hour with a total of $25.3 billion in sales for the entire day, according to Bloomberg. That means total sales for the day could well be double that or more.

39% Growth really is staggering, global ecommerce grew 24.6% in 2016 so Alibaba's Singles' Day sales are far outpacing any metric you care to name.

In 2017, Alibaba took just half the time to match its 2016 sales volume, and doubling the figure this year is a definite possibility.

Just a little past halfway through the day Alibaba crossed last year's GMV (gross merchandise value) of $17.7 billion.

While there is no definitive explanation on the origins of Singles' Day, it is believed by many to have been conceived in the 1990s as a day for China's legions of unmarried young adults to celebrate their lack of romantic commitments.

Alibaba is also willing to export the Singles' Day 24-hour shopping concept to the rest of the world as the company has committed to serve 2 billion consumers worldwide by 2036, Tsai said.

An estimated 1.5 billion parcels will need to be delivered over the next week. Alibaba's processors were handling nearly 260,000 transactions per second, according to Bloomberg.

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Alibaba's rivals, such as JD.com Inc (京東商城), and a range of retailers have joined in, with merchants slashing prices to move goods.

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.

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

The two largest economies of the world have already witnesses robust e-commerce growth over the past decade, and Alibaba's success on Singles Day highlights the very long growth runway that the industry still enjoys. Last year, there were 98,000.

"This is just the start".

"It could end up dominating e-commerce in developing countries".

  • Stacy Houston