The giant Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba recently broke its own sales record for China’s Single Day, which is the world’s single largest online shopping event. By the end of the day, the website had managed to achieve total sales of $14.3 billion. This is a 60% increase over the sales of last year.
Meanwhile, sales on Alibaba last year on Cyber Monday were only $1.35 billion. Cyber Monday is the largest online shopping day in the United States. Singles Day is held annually on November 11th. It has earned that name because of the one’s in the date (11-11). The day is also sometimes referred to as Double Eleven Day.
Despite the fact that this year’s Singles Day was particularly successful, it does not necessarily prove that the Chinese economy is recovering. Many shoppers are aware that the Chinese economy has been slowing down, and thus it is even more likely that they waited until Singles Day to shop. Many Chinese people typically wait all year until Singles Day for making big expenditures, saving money throughout the year.
Recent data shows that inflation in China is down, showing that economic growth isn’t taking place. Meanwhile, the prices of non-food items fell by 0.3% last month, showing that consumption is continuing to decline in China. A successful Singles Day will certainly not reverse these trends on its own.
Alibaba started promoting Singles Day as a popular shopping event in 2009, and it has grown tremendously ever since. Many other retailers have also gotten in on the phenomenon in order to attract buyers. This year, more than 40,000 merchants and more than 30,000 brands from 25 different countries participated on the Alibaba platform. More than 130 million users utilized Alibaba’s marketplace app Taobao.
Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang said in a statement before the event, “The whole world will witness the power of Chinese consumption.”
The entire event was a 24 hour marathon, in which consumers were promised new surprises every hour. In the first hour, more than 27 million purchases were made on mobile devices alone. Despite appealing discounts from competitors, Chinese consumers remained largely committed to Alibaba. Needless to say, the heavy marketing campaign from Alibaba was a success.
Alibaba currently accounts for more than 80% of all internet sales made in China. While the event should definitely somewhat improve the economy in China and increase global trade, it won’t be enough to fix key issues overnight.