Forget Black Friday, China Singles Day is Biggest Online Shopping Event

 

Photo: Charles Chan/Flickr

Photo: Charles Chan/Flickr

Is Singles Day:

  1. A geeky dating game for shy engineering types?
  2. A world-record attempt for singles tennis matches played in 24 hours?
  3. Something that tens of millions of consumers in China build wishlists for?

The answer is 3. What began as an ironic twist on Valentine’s Day in China has become the world’s largest one-day e-commerce event. On Nov. 11, the same day as Veteran’s Day, Armistice Day and Remembrance Day in parts of the western world, tens of millions of Chinese will flock to online retailers, hunting for a good bargain at markdown prices.

Singles Day – symbolized by its single-digit heavy date, 11/11 – began five years ago, when unattached college kids went online to hunt for bargains. Alibaba, China’s largest e-commerce giant, started offering deep discounts to mark the day. Since then, the event has grown exponentially, now being a shopping event for couples, families, and even those outside China.

For Singles Day 2014, Alibaba raked in over $9.3 billion dollars inside its 24-hour event. People weren’t glued to their computers either to do their shopping; of its 278 million orders, nearly 43 percent were made on mobile devices. This bests 2013 figures of $5.75 billion sales – already more than double the previous total for American shoppers’ post-Thanksgiving Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined – in 150 million orders.

ww46-jason-infographic-chinese-singles-day-765

Doubling down for upward sales

Massive computational power is required to keep up with all the shoppers trying to complete their orders. In 2013, Alibaba processed 15,000 transactions per second during peak periods, and for this year it planned for double that. In Sept. 2014, Alibaba announced that it would be adding 10,000 servers to its operation in Shenzhen, China.

In the U.S., the biggest shopping period of the year in the U.S. is just weeks away. According to Fortune, Adobe Systems projects that this Thanksgiving will be a record day for online sales with $1.35 billion, Black Friday to reach $2.48 billion and Cyber Monday to hit $2.6 billion.

Forget Black Friday, China Singles Day is Biggest Online Shopping Event

 

Photo: Charles Chan/Flickr

Photo: Charles Chan/Flickr

Is Singles Day:

  1. A geeky dating game for shy engineering types?
  2. A world-record attempt for singles tennis matches played in 24 hours?
  3. Something that tens of millions of consumers in China build wishlists for?

The answer is 3. What began as an ironic twist on Valentine’s Day in China has become the world’s largest one-day e-commerce event. On Nov. 11, the same day as Veteran’s Day, Armistice Day and Remembrance Day in parts of the western world, tens of millions of Chinese will flock to online retailers, hunting for a good bargain at markdown prices.

Singles Day – symbolized by its single-digit heavy date, 11/11 – began five years ago, when unattached college kids went online to hunt for bargains. Alibaba, China’s largest e-commerce giant, started offering deep discounts to mark the day. Since then, the event has grown exponentially, now being a shopping event for couples, families, and even those outside China.

For Singles Day 2014, Alibaba raked in over $9.3 billion dollars inside its 24-hour event. People weren’t glued to their computers either to do their shopping; of its 278 million orders, nearly 43 percent were made on mobile devices. This bests 2013 figures of $5.75 billion sales – already more than double the previous total for American shoppers’ post-Thanksgiving Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined – in 150 million orders.

ww46-jason-infographic-chinese-singles-day-765

Doubling down for upward sales

Massive computational power is required to keep up with all the shoppers trying to complete their orders. In 2013, Alibaba processed 15,000 transactions per second during peak periods, and for this year it planned for double that. In Sept. 2014, Alibaba announced that it would be adding 10,000 servers to its operation in Shenzhen, China.

In the U.S., the biggest shopping period of the year in the U.S. is just weeks away. According to Fortune, Adobe Systems projects that this Thanksgiving will be a record day for online sales with $1.35 billion, Black Friday to reach $2.48 billion and Cyber Monday to hit $2.6 billion.