Alibaba’s Singles Day smashes its own record as Jack Ma eyes global sale event dominance

China’s Singles Day, the world’s largest online retail event generated over $US billion in sales this year, up by almost 50 per cent on last year’s activity. Between now and the new year China is expected to see over $150 billion in online sales, eclipsing the estimated $80 million US retailers will do in the same time.

Australia’s shop keepers can look forward to about $7 billion, according to a new study out today.

Ironically the success of the sale didn’t do much to warm the cockles of the companies investors who saw their stock drop two per cent on the day.

Still, its best to stay focussed on the long view, and Alibaba seems intent on internationalising the day, as data on a company blog reveals;

  • This year’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival will feature more than six million products from over 40,000 merchants and more than 30,000 brands from 25 countries.
  • Participating international brands include P&G, Unilever, Burberry, Estee Lauder, Zara, Huggies, Macy’s, Costco, Apple, Nike, Friso, Topshop, Uniqlo and many more.
  • Key product categories for global shopping on Alibaba’s retail marketplaces include baby and maternity products, apparel, cosmetics, electronics, health and nutrition, grocery, and fresh food items.
  • Alibaba has piloted 13 online country pavilions, partnering directly with individual countries to facilitate regional imports directly into China.

The logistics are almost as impressive as the top line revenue.

According to the company it has over 3000 logistics partners and those partners will “…deploy more than 1.7 million delivery personnel, 400,000 vehicles, 5,000 warehouses and 200 airplanes to handle deliveries.”

Singles Day is a relatively new phenomenon. It began at Nanjing University in 1993, deriving its name from the date 11/11 (or four singles). Alibaba eventually adopted it for its online sale and indeed trademarked the Chinese characters for “Double 11” in 2012, the same year the Chinese event overtook America’s Cyber Monday in total sales.

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