Alibaba Crosses $25 billion in sales on Singles Day

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Alibaba, China’s largest e-commerce giant, racked up massive sales on “Singles Day”, crossing over $25.3 billion (¥168.3 billion). Singles Day, launched by the company in 2009, has grown to be the largest e-commerce event in the world exceeding sales of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Alibaba_singles_day
Alibaba Crosses $25 billion in sales on Singles Day

Singles Day dates back to the 1990s when Chinese college students began their own sort of “Valentine’s Day” for the single folk. The e-commerce event, also known as Double 11, kicked off at midnight 11th November 2017 and set a new record in sales this year as customers spent billions on goods ranging from diapers to diamonds.

Last year, Alibaba recorded a total of $17.8 billion at the end of the 24-hour sale. This year, within the first one hour, retailers on the Alibaba site clocked in $1 billion in sales. 18 hours later, the gross sales recorded through the online payment system, Alipay, was close to $21 billion. At the end of the sale, Alibaba hit a new record, as it does every year, of $25.3 billion. This marks a 32% increase year-on-year.

China holds the top position among the largest e-commerce markets in the world, with their share of online consumer spending growing every year. Such events display the high spending power of Chinese consumers which plays a very crucial role for retailers and manufacturers across China. A giant chunk of the annual orders for many businesses come from such events. Singles Day also sees high transaction volumes as people delay their purchases for months and wait for a good bargain on the site.

There are some such as Greenpeace who oppose Singles Day, terming it as a disaster for the environment, as e-commerce is a carbon-intensive business compare to brick-and-mortar operations. The number of packages that went out in 2016 resulted in 130,000 tonnes of packaging waste, out of which an estimated 10% was recycled.

However, on the other hand, Alibaba has also provided a platform for many individuals from villages and interior towns to sell their products and uplift themselves. Such villages are now known as Taobao villages that used strategies to re-orient their local trade to manufacturing for online sales. Alibaba’s main e-commerce platform, Taobao.com, saw more than 90% of the Alipay orders on Singles Day.

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