Singles' Day sales: US$1 billion in 67 seconds and other numbers to know
Singles' Day in the world’s most populous country has become a mammoth marketing event for China's e-commerce businesses that have turned it into the world’s biggest online shopping extravaganza.
Singles' Day, which originated on university campuses in Nanjing, China in the 1990s, became an annual shopping bonanza after Alibaba, China’s biggest e-commerce retailer, made it into an event a decade ago.
This year's sales surpassed last year’s record, with two of the country's largest online retailers reporting combined sales of more than US$63 billion, even before final numbers were reported. The eye-popping figures make Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the U.S. seem somewhat anemic and humdrum by comparison. Alibaba posted live updates on its website and on Twitter, but for the very keen, the company also provided a real-time sales counter.
Singles' Day by the numbers:
1. Singles' Day takes place on November 11, because the number one and the date, 11/11, looks like a single person.
2. Alibaba said sales by merchants on its platforms totalled 268.44 billion yuan (US$38.38 billion) by midnight local time, handily surpassing last year's total of US$30.8 billion.
3. Alibaba said the number of delivery orders exceeded 1.042 billion in 18 hours and 31 minutes; surpassing the 2018 total.
5. In the U.S. in 2018, Black Friday brought in US$6.2 billion last year, and US$7.9 billion on Cyber Monday, according to Adobe Analytics.
6. Alibaba rival, JD.com, reported sales of 179.4 billion yuan ($25.6 billion) by mid-afternoon, according to The Associated Press.
8. A once-informal day, a countdown gala leading up to Singles' Day that included a performance from Taylor Swift was broadcast on nearly 30 online streaming platforms and TV channels.
9. Online shopping makes up 19.5 per cent of Chinese consumer spending, compared with about 11 per cent for American consumers, according to The Associated Press.
10. Alipay said it set a record on Singles' Day in 2017 for most payment transactions, processing 256,000 payment transactions per second, just 5 minutes into Singles' Day; 1.48 billion transactions were ultimately processed over the course of 24 hours.
11. China’s State Post Bureau is expected to handle 2.8 billion packages from Nov 11 to 18, according to state-run press agency Xinhua.