On November 11, 2019, Chinese retailer Alibaba Group Holding Ltd said that sales for its Tmall annual Singles' Day shopping blitz crossed the $30 billion mark at 4:31 pm, putting the event on track to set a record in its 11th year.
The figure is equivalent to over 80% of U.S. rival Amazon.com Inc's online store sales in the latest quarter and matches takings across Alibaba's e-commerce platforms on Singles' Day last year. The company said later that its gross merchandise volume or GMV for the whole event came to 268.4 billion yuan ($38.4 billion).
Alibaba said more than 200,000 brands are participating in the 11th Singles’ Day gala, with 1 million new products being offered and more than 500 million users forecast to spend, 100 million more than last year. It added that the estimated consumer savings from brand and platform promotions and coupons could reach 50 billion yuan. More than 64 brands achieved over 100 million yuan in GMV in the pre-order phase from Oct 21, which was twice the number of brands compared to last year, the company said.
Last year the platform saw 213.5 billion yuan worth of merchandise transacted in the 24-hour event, dwarfing Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States combined. But as competition intensifies, Alibaba is searching for fresh ideas to drive sales and keep users hooked to its sites.
Alibaba turned China's informal Singles' Day into a shopping event in 2009 and built it into the world's biggest online sales festival. The event has since been replicated at home and abroad, with Singles' Day promotions found at rivals such as China's JD.com Inc and Pinduoduo Inc as well as South Korea's 11th Street and Singapore's Qoo10.