Alibaba's Singles Day Gamble
Singles Day just turned into singles month for Alibaba. The e-commerce giant has expanded its annual promotions for Singles Day to 24 days instead of 24 hours. Nov. 11, Singles Day, is typically the largest e-commerce shopping day in the world. Last year it generated $14.3 billion alone. Compare that to Cyber Monday, which capped off at a little over $3 billion (certainly nothing to sneer at, but certainly not $14.3 billion). This is the first year Alibaba is expanding the number of days for its Singles Day deals. The retailer is calling it the Global Shopping Festival, and it started last Friday featuring an eight-hour live-streamed fashion show. All deals will end on 11/11.
Total Retail's Take: I'm all for good deals, but this seems like it might take away the power of a "one-day-only" sale — i.e., Singles Day's original intention. If there are too many opportunities to purchase items at a lower cost, consumers might not be phased by the actual e-commerce holiday. There's a delicate balance between a good thing and too much of a good thing. However, the nearly 40,000 Alibaba sellers who participated in the holiday last year may disagree with me.