More than RMB 92 billion? Alibaba to set new sales record on Singles Day

Alibaba’s Tmall launched on Thursday the 2016 Double 11 shopping carnival in Hong Kong.

The 2016 Double 11 shopping carnival will feature not only global purchases for Chinese customers, but also sales on a worldwide scale. In other words, the event will introduce online sellers in mainland China to customers in Hong Kong, Taiwan, then to Southeast Asia, and then to the wider world market.

November 11 is “singles day” in China, a tongue-in-cheek festival created by Chinese netizens, celebrating people who do not have a significant other in their lives. Alibaba have cunningly turned this day – the eleventh day of the eleventh month – into a day of massive sales and discounts on its shopping platforms.

According to Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba, this year’s Double 11 will be the first step for developing the Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP), a concept that Jack Ma put forward at the G20 summit to help promote easier access to world markets for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

This carnival will also be designed to be more entertaining and interactive. Instead of merely providing services, Zhang believes that the shopping experience itself has been continually improving. The party on the eve of this November 11 will see more celebrities and a wider variety of shows, which will be live-streamed using technologies including even virtual reality. Customers can also make purchases by playing online games.

Driven by big data, the customized services will enable every customer to have a unique Double 11 shopping carnival of his or her own.

In addition, the services will be delivered via multiple channels with a better integration of online and offline sales. Nearly 100,000 digital shops will participate in serving the expected hundreds of millions of customers.

From “Singles’ Day sales” to the “Double 11 shopping festival” and this year’s “Double 11 shopping carnival”, the sales records have been broken year after year. Last year saw an overall transaction of RMB 91.2 billion (USD 14.3 billion), breaking the record of RMB 57.1 billion in 2014, when every second saw 140,000 orders being placed and 80,000 being completed at the beginning of the event.

Company data put the total transactions for Alibaba’s first Double 11 sales in 2009 at RMB 52 million in value; in 2015, that number was RMB 92.3 billion.

Are you ready for the innumerable discounts to drain your savings on the Double 11 shopping carnival? Alibaba certainly hope so.

(photo from Baidu images)

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