Alibaba Beats its Online Sales Record Again on the Single Day

More than 18 thousand brands participated in the consumer festival par excellence in China, which doubles the sum of purchases of Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States


The shopping party in China known as “Single Day” (also called Double 11) broke records again in its tenth anniversary to reach the figure of 213.550 million yuan (about 30 billion dollars) in sales through the Alibaba Group Internet platforms. In the 24 hours of the 11th of November, the sales figure represents a growth of 27% compared to the figure corresponding to last year, as confirmed by the company, highlighting that commercial tensions have not eroded the consumer appetite of the booming Chinese middle class.

The Chinese consumer festival, which has been held since November 11 every year, almost five times the volume of business of similar events in the American Cyber Monday, had in its edition of 2018 with more than 180,000 brands, compared to 27 participants with which Alibaba started the initiative nine years ago.

In this sense, the multinational needed just 15 hours and 49 minutes to equal the volume of sales of the turnover record reached in 2017.

At 12 o’clock last night the promotions were activated, and millions of Chinese people began to buy everything they had been accumulating in their virtual cars for weeks.

A disproportionate amount of sales is concentrated in the first few minutes when transactions that had been placed on hold are recorded. In the first minute and 25 seconds, Alibaba sales reached 1,000 million dollars (6,900 yuan), and in one hour and 48 seconds, the company managed to sell 10,000 million dollars (69,300 million yuan) worth of goods. The majority of sales are made through of the electronic sale portals of Alibaba Tmall and Taobao. Items that are sold include smartphones and other electronic devices, but also food and diapers.

“I think you have to understand Alibaba and what Alibaba is doing in the context of the long-term secular trend that is developing in China, which is the rise of the Chinese middle class,” said Alibaba executive vice president Joe Tsai.  “That trend will not stop, with commercial war or without commercial war.”

According to the data provided by the company, 40% of consumers bought international brands during the ‘Day of the Single’ of 2018, noting that the countries with the highest volume of sales in China in the day yesterday were Japan, USA, Korea South, Australia, and Germany, ahead of the United Kingdom, France, Spain, New Zealand, and Italy.

The boost of online commerce in China allowed that during the ‘Day of the Single’ a total of 237 brands managed to reach 100 million yuan of turnover, including brands such as Apple, Dyson, Kindle, Estée Lauder, L’Oréal, Nestle, Gap, Nike or Adidas.

The Chinese multinational managed to overcome during this edition of its sales festival the one billion orders, 23% more than in the Single Day of 2017. This shopping festival, held in China every November 11 as opposed to ‘Valentine’s Day’, it represents the largest ‘online’ shopping event, surpassing the volume of Internet sales of the US phenomenon such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

In a press conference, the executive director of Alibaba Group, Daniel Zhang, assured that the success of this day has to do with the fact that the company “has been evolving in the last ten years” and that it will continue walking in this direction, in full “new era” of consumption in China.

“When we talk about new retail, we strongly believe that online commercial world and offline brick mortars are not separate worlds. And if you look at the customer base today, everyone is living on the internet. Everybody is the internet user. You have the same customer base. You must have the same commercial world. It’s all about how to innovate online and offline to a whole digitalized commercial world,” said Zhang.

Analysts, however, noted that the 2016 record was beaten much earlier in 2017, around noon. In other words, the year-on-year growth was “only” 27% compared to 39% in 2017. In their eyes, this slowdown in the pace would be due to the difficulties faced by the Chinese economy, but also to the multiplication of identical manifestations.

This success is good news for Alibaba, whose share price has fallen by 16% since the beginning of 2016, penalized by uncertainties about relations between China and the United States.

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