China to celebrate Singles' Day with whopping shopping spree

12 November, 2017, 01:58 | Author: Evan Mason
  • A new survey commissioned by Greenpeace of the shopping habits of people in Europe and Asia

In 2009, retailer Alibaba turned the day into the country's version of Black Friday - and eight years later, sales from the Chinese e-commerce event has more than doubled those from Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the U.S. combined. That means total sales for the day could well be double that or more.

In China, Alibaba's main rival, online retailer JD.com, said sales had topped $16.7 billion - though the tallies are not comparable because JD tracks transactions starting from November 1 through to the actual day.

Joe Tsai, co-founder and vice-chairman of Alibaba Group, told 700 reporters from all over the world in Shanghai that a total of 140,000 brands are taking part this year, up 40 per cent from last year. Cyber Monday in the United States saw $3.45 billion in online sales a year ago.

The holiday was once a celebration for China's lonely hearts and unattached singles, known as "bare sticks". The yearly buying binge has become crucial for manufacturers and retailers across the country, accounting for a significant share of annual orders for many businesses. About 90 percent of transactions were done via mobile.

With those numbers, not Black Friday, Cyber Monday or Valentine's Day, can compete with Singles' Day as of yet.

Couriers and robots are expected to deliver an estimated 1.5 billion parcels over the next six days. Alibaba's processors were handling nearly 260,000 transactions per second, according to Bloomberg.

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And we know that some of the world's best retailers will be offering deals up to 30% off.

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"This study provides a deep dive into the largest e-commerce market in the world".

Alibaba turned 100,000 physical shops around China into "smart stores" for this year's event.

Greenpeace said "Singles Day" deliveries past year resulted in 130,000 metric tons (143,000 short tons) of packaging waste in what it called a "disaster for the environment".

Analysts say Alibaba will take Singles' Day global as Chinese e-commerce growth rates are expected to slow in the years ahead.

"This is just the start".

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