Forget Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Amazon’s Prime Day – the biggest online shopping event in the world remains China’s Singles’ Day, and this year it broke all records.
The event takes place on 11th November each year, with the 11/11 date representing all those single people or 1s that the holiday is supposed to represent.
It was envisaged as a way of celebrating pride in being single among the younger Chinese population, but ironically enough it’s become a focal point for couples, with thousands of weddings taking place on the day.
2019 was the 11th Singles’ Day and it was kicked off by a spectacular show headlined by Taylor Swift in Shanghai. As soon as she finished and the sales went live, the event got off to a flying start, hitting just over $1bn (£778m) in just over a minute of trading. That furious pace wasn’t maintained for the whole day, but by late afternoon it had hit $30bn (£23bn). Chinese online retail giant Alibaba announced that total sales were around $38.3bn (£29.8bn). This beat 2018’s total of $30.8bn, which was itself a record at the time.
The total number of orders also broke last year’s record, exceeding a billion individual orders after 16 hours.
Analysts were predicting that the event’s growth is now starting to slow, however, in line with the e-commerce sector as a whole in China.
Sales predicted to eclipse Black Friday
The sheer volume of sales is still substantial though, with $30bn representing more than 80% of Amazon’s total sales in the past quarter.
The sales for Singles’ Day are also predicted to beat total sales across all territories on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Some companies held their own sales in Western markets to coincide with Singles’ Day – which is also Veterans Day in the US.
Singles’ Day began in 2009 with just 27 merchants participating – this year there were more than 200,000 brands involved.
It was the first Singles’ Day event since colourful Alibaba founder Jack Ma left the company, passing the reins to current executive chairman Daniel Zhang.
Alibaba is now one of China’s largest businesses and is valued at $480bn (£373bn), according to Forbes.
As with Amazon, it has grown from an e-commerce platform and now has a range of tech-related interests, including financial services and artificial intelligence.
Original article by Tech Data Newsflash, edited by TDConnect editors