November 11th, 2018 marks e-commerce history for Alibaba ($BABA) which reports a record $30.8 billion in gross earnings during their Singles’ Day shopping event.
The Alibaba company dominates the Chinese online market with websites like Tmall, AliExpress, and TaoBao and earned the record big bucks during their Singles’ Day sales event. More than 20 Alibaba online and retail businesses participated with discounts and sales this year.
The 24-hour shopping event offers online and in-store discounts for shoppers and has existed since 2009. This years 11/11 shopping day was kicked off by a gala event in Shanghai, and marks a decade since the shopping discounts began.
This year the ‘double 11’ event featured hot items like iPhones, small appliances, cosmetics, and furniture. The shopping event has now spread across the globe, expanding deals to the U.S. and U.K markets. The holiday is not widely known across U.S. consumers, but with increasing digital sales annually, Alibaba expects the U.S. market will be a great place to target future consumers with the latest tech deals.
The sales event was designed to compete against Amazon’s ‘Prime Day’, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday sales and discounts. It originally started as a student holiday to celebrate being single, countering the couples holiday Valentine’s Day.
Within the first 85 seconds, the 10th edition of the sales event hit over $1 billion in sales, which is higher than Amazon’s total Prime Day sales. Unlike U.S. retailers, Singles Day retailers typically advertise and display their deals ahead of times so consumers can plan how they want to spend their money instead of being surprised when the deals begin.
The company surpassed its 2017 sales record of $25.3 billion within 16 hours this year. More than 1 billion delivery orders were placed during the online shopping event.
The company continues to evolve Singles’ Day as a cultural event and expand its influence into other markets and regions. The focus for 2018 was placed on a business strategy coined “new retail”, which works to bring together the online aspect of the retail holiday with the in-person shopping experience.
This year, a chain of grocery stores called Hema participated in the Singles Day event by allowing users to pay with their phones. Starbucks coffee retailer also created consumer deals to participate in the shopping event. Alibaba continues to refine its business and marketing strategies to stay afloat in a continually changing and evolving digital and retail market.
However, despite this years total record haul, the sales growth fell from 39 percent to 27 percent, meaning that the sales slowed down throughout the event. The company stated that they will think try to involve better deals and brands to attract new buyers and keep sales consistent throughout the 24-hour event.
The sales event generally earns more than Black Friday and Cyber Monday’s total sales combined. Though market experts will have to wait a few more weeks to find out if this holds true for 2018 against U.S. consumer reports, the Alibaba company is looking promising to holding top online sales records for the year.