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Alibaba's Singles' Day is retail gold
12 November 2017, 01:57 | Clyde Nash
Results from a Greenpeace commissioned survey on the shopping habits of people in Europe and Asia
Alibaba has racked up $25.3 billion in sales on Singles Day, China's biggest online shopping day, so far, with close to $7 billion in sales made in the first 30 minutes.
Such objections are, however, not likely to hold Alibaba back from its push toward expanding "Singles Day" onto the global market.
The actress and the singer joined co-founder and chairman Jack Ma and Chinese musicians and film stars such as Zhang Ziyi and Fan Bingbing in Shanghai to count down to the start at midnight on Friday. Last year, sales on Alibaba's platforms totaled over 120.7 billion yuan, a record for the company. At just past the halfway mark, the headline gross merchandise volume was just shy of $18 billion. Last year, online sales sold over $3 billion.
The headline sales number is likely to top last year's total of 113bn yuan (£13bn), an increase of almost a third from 2015.
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Chinese shoppers on Saturday spent billions of dollars in an annual online commercial extravaganza that was once meant as a celebration for lonely hearts. It takes its name from the way Nov 11 is written numerically as 11/11, which resembles "bare branches", a Chinese expression for the unattached. It is expected that an estimated 1.5 billion parcels related to the event will be shipped over the next six days to millions of people across more than 600 cities.
The company has converted about 100,000 retail stores to "smart stores", which will allow consumers to receive tailored shopping experience with the use of facial recognition, "cloud shelf" and location-based store and discount recommendations among others.
Total sales at the end of 24 hours.
More than 90 percent of Alipay orders were placed via mobile, the majority on Alibaba's main e-commerce platform Taobao.com. Before the event, Alibaba teams helped some 600,000 outlets upgrade their computer systems to cope with the expected deluge of orders. Alibaba's processors were handling nearly 260,000 transactions per second, according to Bloomberg.
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