Alibaba’s Record-Smashing Singles’ Day Success

Alibaba broke its own single-day sales record during this year’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival — and it did so in record time.

But the momentum didn’t stop there.

With Singles’ Day officially over, Alibaba reported today (Nov. 11) that the total transactions recorded (which is measured by GMV) hit $14.3 billion (RMB 91.2B).

Alibaba’s Singles’ Day was already off to a record start just an hour in. It surpassed its 2014 single online sales day record by halfway into the day. In fact, in just 90 minutes , the total GMV settled through Alipay had already topped $5 billion (RMB 31.8 billion). Mobile GMV accounted for 72 percent of total GMV.

By midday, Singles’ Day had already recorded more than its 2014 record of $9.3 billion in just a 24-hour period.

As of 9:44 p.m. CST, total GMV was approaching $13 billion. And it kept on going strong into the final hours.

Some other noteworthy figures from 2015’s Singles’ Day:

  • GMV exceeded $786 million in 5 minutes, 45 seconds after the sale begun.
  • GMV exceeded $1 billion within 8 minutes of the sale starting.
  • Mobile GMV exceeded $1.5 billion in 12 minutes, 28 seconds.
  • GMV exceeded $3 billion in roughly half an hour.
  • GMV in one hour: $3.89 billion (Mobile GMV: $2.87 billion); number of mobile buyers: 27.37 million.
  • Less than 8 hours into the shopping day, GMV hit $6.56 billion, which Alibaba’s blog noted was higher than total desktop GMV during the 2014 Thanksgiving/Cyber Monday shopping weekend total of $6.56 billion.
  • Less than 10 hours in, total GMV topped $7.86 billion (RMB 50 billion).
  • By the halfway mark of the day, total GMV had already surpassed the total GMV for 2014 ($9.3 billion).
  • By 2 p.m. in China, GMV had topped $10 billion; 70 percent were mobile buyers.
  • By 2 p.m., Cainiao Logistics, the logistics affiliate of Alibaba Group, received 310 million delivery orders, exceeding the 278 million orders generated last year on 11.11.

“This year, Alibaba Group has transformed 11.11 into an unprecedented mobile shopping experience. Over the course of the 24-hour shopping marathon, consumers will have a new surprise every hour that has been especially tailored for mobile users. The whole world will witness the power of Chinese consumption this November 11,” Alibaba’s CEO Daniel Zhang wrote in a prepared statement.

This year Alibaba has been hyper-focused on promoting the cross-border commerce aspect of the shopping holiday, which includes products from more than 40,000 merchants, 30,000 brands and 25 countries.

Known as the largest shopping day in the world, Singles’ Day blows Black Friday and Cyber Monday out of the water. To put Alibaba’s figures into context, the total amount that retailers took in during 2014’s Black Friday was $50.9 billion. And that was over a four-day holiday weekend. The number of shoppers during the holiday weekend was estimated to be 133.7 million.

In six years, the widely recognized Chinese retail holiday that was originally aimed at encouraging singles to shop for something special for themselves, has transformed into an event that attracts shoppers, brands and merchants from around the world.

The company is also enhancing its omnichannel and mobile commerce offerings with participation from more than 1,000 retail brands that operate 180,000 brick-and-mortar stores in 330 cities across China. Encouraging cross-border commerce has been a major push for Alibaba, particularly for this shopping holiday.

Singles’ Day has been promoted heavily in the media, and Alibaba has played up the hype by getting cameos from celebrities to promote the event. That includes Kevin Spacey, who promoted the event in a short clip, playing his role as Frank Underwood from the hit HBO series “House Of Cards.”

“If this Singles’ Day is the excuse you’ve been waiting for to spoil yourself with a little online shopping, then I must say I’m more than a little jealous,” he says in his speech. “Here at the White House, there’s so many firewalls blocking me from shopping online that not even the president will be able to take advantage of those amazing deals you’ll see online during this holiday.”

Quoting Alibaba’s Executive Chairman Jack Ma, he reads: “Today is hard. Tomorrow will be worse. But the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.”

To check out what else is HOT in the world of payments, click here.

For more on cross-border commerce, check out the X-Border Payments Optimization Index



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