Alibaba smashes Singles' Day records with 39% sales lift

Posted November 12, 2017

Alibaba said that by midday yesterday, the gross value of sales processed by Alipay (支付寶), its online payment system, had surpassed the US$17.8 billion logged over the full 24 hours past year. They will do so by participating in the world's biggest shopping day, with last year's sales totalling $18.2 billion.

Global consulting firm Oliver Wyman estimated this week that Alibaba's Singles' Day sales across all e-commerce platforms this year will surge to a record 152 billion yuan (US$23 billion), compared with total spending of 120.7 billion yuan in 2016 on Alibaba platforms, including Tmall and Taobao.

Pharrell Williams, British pop singer-songwriter Jessie J, tennis superstar Maria Sharapova and Real Madrid icon Luis Figo attended this year's 11.11 Countdown Gala Celebration.

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Singles's Day far out ranks the entire Black Friday Weekend in terms of sales, a year ago Single's Day sales were triple the combined total from Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. There were 256,000 payment transactions processed per second by Alipay, Alibaba's Alizila news website reported.

Double 11's transaction volume is pumped up by many Chinese holding off on purchases of everyday items like rice and toilet paper to take advantage of the price-slashing.

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Chinese consumers are spending billions of dollars shopping online for anything from diapers to diamonds on "Singles Day", a day of promotions that has grown into the world's biggest e-commerce event.

But environmentalists accuse Alibaba and other e-tailers of fuelling a culture of excessive consumption and mountains of waste. Credit China Network/Reuters Photo Singles Day will test Alibaba's logistics network.

Greenpeace said "Singles Day" deliveries past year created 130,000 tonnes of packaging waste - less than 10 percent of which is recycled. Alibaba has not only transformed consumer behavior in China, but merchant behavior as well.

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The 2017 shopping day had a 39 percent increase in sales with at least 82 brands earning about $15 million in sales in 24 hours.