Singles’ Day – bigger than Brazil for the whole of 2016!

Endaba Group

The annual discount festival has smashed records yet again – what was already the world’s largest 24-hour online sale became even bigger!

Alibaba Group just wrapped up its annual November 11 Global Shopping Festival (Singles’ Day sale). This year, Singles’ Day generated a staggering $17.8 billion in sales, up from $14.3 billion last year! To put this in perspective, sales on Singles’ Day in China were more than Brazil’s total predicted e-commerce sales for the whole of 2016. If Singles’ Day were a country and sales from the one day were ranked against annual e-commerce sales of countries around the world, Alibaba’s Singles’ Day would rank as the 11th largest country in the world, just ahead of Brazil and just behind South Korea!

Endaba shared the 6 most impressive facts from Alibaba’s 2016 Singles’ Day:

  1. In just the first 5 minutes of this year’s festival, shoppers spent more than $1 billion! The total value of orders was an enormous $17.8bn; this is more than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined and easily topped the previous record of $14.3bn set in 2015
  2. Online shopping is nothing without a strong logistics network that can deliver packages to customers. This year, Alibaba’s logistics arm Cainiao Network will use more than 7 million delivery personnel to pack and ship the 650 million delivery orders that were placed during the 24-hour buy fest
  3. More than 100 million viewers tuned into a 24-hour live show tied to the shopping festival in 2015. This year, Alibaba prompted people watching the show to open the company’s app and shake their phones to nab discounts and deals
  4. Alibaba launched its Singles Day sale in 2009 with 27 merchants. Now more than 16,000 international brands participate. Burberry, Apple and Victoria’s Secret made their debut this year, joining companies like Lululemon and Gap. 37% of purchases were from international brands or merchants. Chinese consumers are increasingly sophisticated about foreign brands, and the foreign brands are getting better every day in connecting with Chinese consumers
  5. Ahead of the midnight start, Alibaba broadcast a three-hour gala that was part variety show, part MTV music awards. Former NBA star Kobe Bryant was this year’s headliner, after Katy Perry pulled out at the last minute
  6. Alibaba and rival e-commerce site said more than 80% of Single Day transactions took place on a mobile phone this year – 94.6m shoppers made a purchase on their smartphones

These astonishing facts prove that Western brands not only need a strategy for China, they need a very specific Singles’ Day strategy!