A display shows sales volume, a target of sales, after 12 minutes 49 seconds of Singles Day sales, reaching approximately $ 7,147,554,107 in Hangzhou, China's eastern Zhejiang Province, early November 11, 2019.
AFP | Getty Images
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba set new sales record on Singles Day, the world's largest 24-hour shopping event.
Gross trade value (GMV), a figure showing sales across Alibaba's various shopping platforms, exceeded last year's record of 21
It was the 11th edition of the annual Singles Day event – also called the Double 11 Shopping Festival because it falls on November 11. During the 24-hour period, which began at midnight in Singapore and Hong Kong, Alibaba offered big discounts at its e-commerce sites such as Tmall.
Alibaba's Singles Day sales last year exceeded consumer spending during any US shopping holiday such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
To help increase sales, Alibaba expanded the number of discounted goods available at this year's event and placed great emphasis on live streaming through its platforms to help sell merchandise. Live streaming has become a major part of the shopping experience on Chinese websites.
Personalities on the web often talk to their followers and also talk about products. On Wednesday, Kim Kardashian made a livestream announcing that the fragrance brand KKW will be available for sale on Tmall.
Alibaba's new Singles Day record comes as it faces a declining Chinese economy and fierce competition from domestic competitors. While Alibaba is often the name associated with the megahopping event, competitors JD.com and Pinduoduo all offer their own sales. JD.com already offers some Double 11 discounts before the actual day. Even Southeast Asia's e-commerce platforms have jumped on the bandwagon.
The day started for a strong start for Alibaba. GMV hit $ 12.01 billion in the first hour. Within an hour and a half, sales of Alibaba exceeded the total achieved on Singles Day in 2016.
Some of the top-selling products early in the day included the 5G version of Huawei's Mate 30 Pro smartphone, as well as Apple's iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max.
In the midst of the ongoing US-China trade war, there was some concern that US brands might get the cold shoulder from Chinese consumers. But this was not the case.
The United States was the second country of GMV in terms of countries selling to China.
Jacob Cooke, CEO of WPIC, an e-commerce technical and marketing company that helps foreign brands sell China, told CNBC that jewelry and clothing were the most popular product categories from US retailers.
He said everything his company has managed is "way up last year."
"There is no downturn there. There is no evidence that there is a sentiment decline for American brands," Cooke told CNBC.
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