Chinese E-Shoppers Spend Billions on Singles Day


In the U.S., total online sales for the five days from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday past year stood at $11.1 billion, according to Adobe Digital Index.

The Chinese State Post Bureau has estimated the nation will handle more than 1 billion packages during the six days from yesterday, Xinhua news agency reported. The amount also takes into account pre-orders made by customers.

The November 11 date was picked to be "11.11" - four singles. Launched in 2009, Alibaba's version of the event was created to encourage consumers without a partner to treat themselves.

According to Alibaba Group, consumers in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Hangzhou and Guangzhou spent more on Singles' Day than those in other Chinese cities.

The company saw a record-breaking US$14.3 billion in sales on Singles' Day past year, an increase of 60 per cent on 2014.

In 2009, Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. began using the holiday to promote store sales. "People in the villages who could not do online shopping now have mobile phones and so can do that". The sale was mainly aimed at the audiences of China and other such parts of Asia.

In the end that proved true, as Alibaba fell just short of the US$20 billion target some had been expecting it to surpass. "It exceeds last year's results", Zavadsky said.

The company said sales this year had reached 121bn yuan ($18bn; £14bn), a rise of 32% on last year's sales which were worth $14.3bn.

Giant firms, sales had hit 82.4 billion Yuan or $12.1 billion.

The events success is undoubtedly attached to the China e-commerce giant and its executive chairman Jack Ma's unrelenting quest to drive explosive and unprecedented growth through marquee brand partnerships; an emphasis on innovation; and a push to rebrand China as a consumption-based economy. Since then, the sale is just getting better and better with each passing year.

Over time, the retail event became one of the largest shopping days internationally and has gone on to include events featuring globally renowned celebrities and performers.

Now the 2016 edition - which has been endorsed by the celebrity likes of David Beckham, Kobe Bryant ad Scarlett Johansson - has left previous year in the shade before its even finished. Alibaba now sells nearly 100,000 brands. Out of these, 11,000 of them are not Chinese in nature. Official statistics show that retail sales grew 10.4 per cent for the first nine months of this year.