Alibaba posts record $38 billion in sales for China's 11.11 shopping frenzy

Over 22,000 overseas bands participated in the event.
Written by Campbell Kwan, Contributor
Image: Alibaba Group

After 24 hours, Alibaba Group's annual 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, also known as Singles' Day, has amassed a record-high total gross merchandise volume (GMV) of 268.4 billion yuan ($38.4 billion).

The total from this year's Single's Day event beat the previous record of $30.8 billion that was set only a year ago. It also smashes the $7.8 million in GMW earned back in 2009 from Alibaba Group's first Singles' Day event.

The day commenced with the company reporting it had generated more than $18 billion in total GMW over the first two hours of the event. After 11 hours, Alibaba said GMV had surpassed $25 billion.    

See also: China's 11.11 shopping frenzy generates $18 billion in sales in two hours for Alibaba  

This year, over 22,000 overseas brands from 78 different countries and regions participated in the event, with the amount of new overseas brand growing by 300% year on year, according to Alibaba Group. 

The sales figures from Alibaba's Singles' Day event outsizes similar sales events such as Amazon's Prime Day sales. While Amazon doesn't provide figures, data from Adobe indicated that around $2 billion of products were bought from small and medium-sized businesses on the Amazon network during Amazon Prime Day 2019. The $2 billion figure does not include sales of  products made by Amazon.  

Adobe also estimated that sales in the United States from Thanksgiving through to Cyber Monday for 2019 would only generate total retail sales of $29 billion, which still pales in comparison to the amount sold during Alibaba's Single's Day event   

Alibaba Group Australia and New Zealand managing director Maggie Zhou said an event such as Singles' Day is not just an opportunity for brands to sell to the Chinese consumers, but also to help international companies enter the Chinese market.

See also: Everything you need to know about Alibaba's 11.11 Singles Day sale  

"With the middle class rising in China, it's a really great opportunity for Australian businesses to engage with Chinese consumers. We have a really strong country image of being clean and green, natural, so our products are highly welcomed by Chinese consumers, especially the middle class who seek high-quality products from all over the world – and Australia is one of those markets," Zhou told media on Monday.

The 11.11 Global Shopping Festival occurs at November 11 every year and has been marketed by the company as an event dedicated to people who are not in a relationship.


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