Alibaba Nets Record $25.3B in Singles Day Sales
Alibaba has broken its own sales record for China's Singles Day, a 24-hour shopping extravaganza similar to Black Friday. Held on Nov. 11 each year, Singles Day was supposedly started in the 1990s to commemorate China's lonely hearts, a kind of anti-Valentine's day. Alibaba has helped turn it into the world's biggest shopping event. The e-commerce behemoth reported gross merchandise volume of RMB168.3 billion — $25.3 billion — which is 39 percent above last year’s RMB120.7 billion ($17.8 billion).
Total Retail's Take: So much for concerns that Singles Day may see a dip in popularity this year. To put in perspective the immensity of this one-day shopping event, Alibaba Cloud processed 325,000 orders per second at peak. Furthermore, 90 percent of total GMV for this year's Singles Day was transacted on mobile. U.S. brands cashed in on the growing shopping holiday — perhaps replacing Black Friday as the new kickoff to the holiday shopping season —with Gap and Nike each generating more than $15 million in sales on Singles Day. With consumer confidence high heading into the holiday shopping season, retailers are hopeful that Singles Day is just the first in a string of successful shopping days to close 2017.