China's e-commerce giants set a new record for Single's Day

Posted November 14, 2017

Once a celebration for China's lonely hearts, Singles' Day has become an annual 24-hour buying frenzy that exceeds the combined sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States, and acts as a barometer for China's consumers.

Singles Day started as an obscure holiday celebrated by college students in China.

850 million orders in total were recorded on Saturday.

Fu Wenyue, a 23-year-old dresser in Shanghai, said offers this year were smaller but more "personalized" as brands used big data to hone their targets. In the beginning, the gross product sale was just short of a billion dollars from previous year, but soon broke the record in terms of local currency.

Squali notes, "Strong Chinese consumer buying, 4x growth in global brands, strength in cross border trade, rise of New Retail and ubiquity of mobile drove this outsized performance, and bode well for the company's December quarter".

The Q4 sales event to watch is Singles' Day, which continues to break records. The event was started in 2009 with only 27 merchants that sought to raise awareness for online shopping, and has grown into the biggest consumer bonanza of the year. At its peak, the company's processors handled 256,000 transactions per second.

The date of November 11 emerged as a counter-cultural antidote to the sentimentality of Valentine's Day.

Six merchants sold more than $150.9 million on the site while another 17 sold in excess of $75.4 million.

The event not only benefits Chinese sellers, because 60,000 worldwide brands also offered their products for sale and six of them generated more than 150 million dollars (130 million euro).

CEO Daniel Zhang said the sales figures underscore the opportunities that exist in the Chinese market.

Alibaba's Global Shopping Festival on Singles' Day also demonstrates the company considers a merger between offline and online is the future of retail. To that end, the festivities included 60 pop-ups as well as tech features in 100,000 stores throughout the country.

Saturday's sale netted Lazada a pretty respectable $123 million in sales, or 6.5 million items, almost three times last year's performance. The company noted that November 11 made up by far the largest spike in sales. Sales for activewear brands like Columbia and North Face reportedly increased by 800 percent and 400 percent, respectively.