Alibaba Aims to Beat Singles Day Expectations
Singles Day, the world’ biggest shopping day, is underway (at least in China, where it's already Nov. 11). Last year, Alibaba reported that $13.5 billion exchanged hands on its platform on Singles Day, and it expects to beat that amount this year. However, growth in new internet users is slowing in China, and experts say the communist government is watching Alibaba closely. The retailer uses a statistic called gross merchandise value that measures the monetary worth of transactions that flow through its services. Alibaba makes money by charging vendors on its platforms to advertise and for a percentage of sales. Gross merchandise value is criticized because it’s not defined under accounting standards, causing increased skepticism in the numbers.
Total Retail’s Take: Singles Day is a huge event, and not just for shopping. This year, OneRepublic will be performing, and Kobe Bryant and German soccer player Thomas Müller will be featured during a four-hour long television special. Alibaba is doing all it can to keep Singles Day growing, even though the reported numbers are being called into question. Stay tuned for more coverage of Singles Day tomorrow, when we'll have a better idea of sales numbers.