Alibaba enjoys record Singles Day sales

E-commerce giant Alibaba has seen a record 27 per cent increase in gross merchandise value sold during this year’s 11.11 shopping festival.

Total GMV settled through Alipay reached RMB213.5 billion ($42.45 billion), with more than 40 per cent of consumers buying through international brands.

According to Alibaba, RMB6.9 billion ($1.37 billion) of GMV was settled in the first one minute and 25 seconds, and RMB69.3 billion ($13.78 billion) in one hour and 48 seconds.

Comparatively, Amazon’s recent Prime Day sales were estimated to have reached approximately US$4.2 billion ($5.82 billion) by Wedbush Securities Inc analyst Michael Pachter, according to Bloomberg, leading its quarterly income to grow 1,186 per cent over Q2.

Australia, Japan, United States, South Korea and Germany were among the top countries selling in the event, with 230 countries and regions having participated.

Australian supplement retailer Swisse ranked as the top brand imported into China through the promotion.

“Today we witnessed the strength and rise of China’s consumption economy, and consumers’ continued pursuit to upgrade their everyday lifestyles,” Alibaba Group chief executive Daniel Zhang said.

“Participation from the entire Alibaba ecosystem enabled our brand and merchant partners to engage with consumers like never before.”

Last year, Alibaba saw sales reach RMB168.2 billion ($33.45 billion), which broke the previous year’s record of RMB120.7 billion ($24 billion).

According to Texas A&M University’s Professor Venkatesh Shankar, customers globally want to buy both online and in-store, from any device and through any payment method, while getting a high level of customisation and service.

Singles Day’s popularity across the world suggests a new chapter of computer-enhanced shopping experiences has begun, Shankar wrote in The Conversation.

As the Chinese middle-class grows, retailers around the world are offering their own Singles Day offering in order to service a burgeoning market.

“The global retail market is adjusting to China’s rising economic power, and Chinese customer’s desire for AI-enhanced mobile shopping experiences,” Shankar wrote.

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