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Alibaba Singles’ Day Sales Reach $14.3 Billion, Smashing Record

2015-11-10 bloomberg

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. logged a record 91.2 billion yuan ($14.3 billion) in sales on Singles’ Day, turning a sweethearts’ holiday dreamed up two decades ago into a major online shopping event.

Transactions had passed last year’s record of $9.3 billion before midday in China, according to the company. The top-selling items by retailers using Alibaba’s platform included baby-related and nutritional products, Nike sneakers and Levi’s jeans, the company said.

Chairman Jack Ma raised the stakes this year by moving the event’s headquarters to Beijing, bringing in more foreign brands and enlisting Hollywood celebrities Daniel Craig and Kevin Spacey to add glamour to the shopathon. Tapping into rising disposable incomes has paid off for China’s biggest e-commerce emporium as it captures more of the country’s surging smartphone use with restaurant deliveries and video streaming.

“Chinese consumers have a lot of money in their hands,” said Chen Xingdong, chief China economist at BNP Paribas SA in Beijing. “Online retailers need to customize their products to serve these increasingly savvy urban consumers. ”
Retail Growth

Alibaba got a boost as China’s retail sales accelerated in October, overcoming the slowest economic growth in 25 years. Retail sales climbed 11 percent, the quickest gain this year and beating the median projection of economists, as the nation’s leaders seek to re-balance the economy toward consumption and services.

“The consumers that can create and lead demand will survive,” Ma said Wednesday night. “In the next 15 years, China’s economy will be good.”

Taking Singles’ Day festivities to China’s political, economic and media hub came after Alibaba’s roller-coaster first year as a public company. A record offering was followed by a record fall below the initial price, allegations the company wasn’t doing enough to fight counterfeits on its platforms, and the replacement of its chief executive officer. The shares fell 1.9 percent to $79.85 at the close in New York.

Ma kicked off the event with a four-hour variety show that included a performance by “American Idol” finalist Adam Lambert and an appearance by Craig, star of the James Bond films. “House of Cards” star Spacey made a YouTube video.

Singles’ Day, a Chinese twist on Valentine’s Day, was invented by students in the 1990s, according to the Communist Party-owned People’s Daily. When written numerically, Nov. 11 is reminiscent of “bare branches,” the Chinese expression for bachelors and spinsters.

The Singles’ Day promotion was started by Alibaba in 2009 and copied by rivals, morphing into China’s version of Cyber Monday. For the first six years, results were tabulated in Alibaba’s hometown of Hangzhou, in eastern China.

Alibaba estimated that 1.7 million deliverymen, 400,000 vehicles and 200 airplanes would be deployed to handle packages holding everything from iPhones to underwear. Mobile devices accounted for 69 percent of Wednesday’s transactions, Alibaba said in a statement.

“The sales on Singles’ Day shows the power of the Internet and that China still has considerable consumption potential,” said Zhu Qibing, a Beijing-based analyst at China Minzu Securities Co. “Alibaba’s success is a success of its platform, and it’s hard to replicate. ” To boost traffic on its platforms, Alibaba is focusing on attracting U.S. retailers to China.

To boost traffic on its platforms, Alibaba is focusing on attracting U.S. retailers to China, President Michael Evans told Bloomberg TV. The company is opening a third U.S. office in New York to go along with those in Washington and San Francisco, he said. Ma said Alibaba is considering bringing the 24-hour Nov. 11 event to the U.S. and the U.K.

“This year’s event is more global with international players joining in,” said Fangting Sun, a senior research analyst with Euromonitor. “Alibaba aims to both attract more international players selling products to China and the domestic players to expand to the overseas markets.”

The company said in September it was adding Beijing as another headquarters, with an eye toward “the globalization of Nov. 11.”

“Alibaba wants this event to be high profile -- Beijing has the kind of media resources that it will need,” said Jeff Hao, a Hong Kong-based analyst at China Merchants Securities Holdings. “Gaining exposure is a means to ensure growth this year.”


Adobe Data Shows Cyber Monday Largest Online Sales Day in History with $3 Billion

Monday, November 30, 2015 8:37 pm EST

Out-of-Stock Rates at All-Time High; Star Wars Toys, Games for Microsoft Xbox and Sony PS4 Emerge as Best-Selling Gift Items; Dallas-Fort Worth, Chicago and Los Angeles Saw Highest Online Sales Growth Between Thanksgiving and Sunday

SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Adobe (Nasdaq:ADBE) today released its 2015 online shopping data for Cyber Monday.
A record $2.98 billion (12 percent more than in 2014) will be spent online by the end of the day, marking the largest online sales day in history.
Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday will drive a total of $11 billion in online sales, a 15 percent increase year-over-year (YoY) and 30 percent of all online sales in November ($39.5 billion).
Brick-and-click retailers saw the strongest growth in sales YoY with 18 percent reversing the trend of Cyber Monday being an online-only retailer day.
The first 18 days in December are all expected to be $1 billion sales days.

Out-of-stock rates on Cyber Monday were at an all-time high, with 13 out of 100 product views showing an out-of-stock message, over two times the normal rate.
Products with the highest out-of-stock risk included Star Wars figures and video game bundles (PS4 Disney Infinity and Battlefront Bundles), Xbox One Fallout 4 and Halo Bundles, LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar and Fisher-Price Imaginext Supernova Battle Rover.
The best-selling electronics on Cyber Monday included Samsung 4K TVs, Microsoft Xbox, Apple iPad Mini, Apple iPad Air 2, and Sony PS4.
The five most popular toys were Shopkins dolls, Barbie Dream House, LEGO Star Wars, LEGO Dimensions and LEGO City.
Consumers saw an average discount of 20.3 percent.

Adobe’s report is based on the analysis of aggregated and anonymous data of more than 125 million visits to 4,500 retail websites on Cyber Monday and uses its proven predictive model to forecast the remaining hours of the day.
Adobe measures 80 percent of all online transactions from the top 100 U.S. retailers, more than any other technology company.* Seven dollars and fifty cents out of every 10 dollars spent online with the top 500 U.S. retailers go through Adobe Marketing Cloud. The tremendous volume of data puts Adobe in the unique position to deliver highly accurate, census-based online sales totals, pricing and product availability trends.

“Cyber Monday has pushed online spending to a new high, and is on track to hit a record $3 billion in sales, in line with our forecast,” said Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst, Adobe Digital Index. “Online traffic was so astronomical that several retailers experienced temporary outages and slow checkouts, but that didn’t stall consumer spending. Dallas-Fort Worth, Chicago and Los Angeles were the largest metropolitan areas with the highest online sales growth between Thanksgiving and Sunday.”

Additional findings:

Online Spend: Shoppers will spend $3 billion by the end of the day, a 12 percent increase YoY. The average order value was $133, slightly lower than Black Friday ($137) and Thanksgiving Day ($162), indicating that shoppers were buying less expensive items. Large retailers (average sales revenue of $25 million) saw 12 percent growth on Cyber Monday. Online sales for small retailers (average sales revenue of $100,000) increased by 6 percent YoY.

Largest Spend by City: The largest metropolitan areas with the highest online sales growth between Thanksgiving and Sunday were Dallas-Fort Worth, Chicago and Los Angeles. These areas also ranked highest for mobile shopping. Dallas-Fort Worth had the largest online sales growth with 43 percent (44 percent of sales coming from mobile devices), followed by Los Angeles with 26 percent (37 percent of sales driven by mobile), and Chicago with 23 percent (39 percent of sales generated by smartphones or tablets). New York and Philadelphia saw 16 percent growth with 33 and 35 percent attributed to mobile respectively.

Mobile Share: Smartphones and tablets continued to drive sales on Cyber Monday. Mobile accounted for 49 percent of shopping visits (38 percent smartphones, 11 percent tablets), resulting in 28 percent of online sales (17 percent smartphones, 11 percent tablets). Over $514 million in sales were attributed to mobile, including $313 million from smartphones ($205 million iPhones, $107 million Android) and $201 million from tablets ($170 million iPad, $28 million Android).

Discounts: Shoppers saw average discounts of 20.3 percent and turned to smaller discounts promoted on shopper helper and review sites like RetailMeNot and CNET (31.9 percent share of online sales), followed by search ads (26.6 percent share) and direct sales (21.3 percent share). Display ads saw the largest growth (50 percent) in its share of online sales.

Social Buzz: Cyber Monday had the most positive social sentiment with 56 percent relating to joy or admiration, versus 40 percent for Black Friday. eBay was the most mentioned retailer since Thanksgiving, with Amazon a close second. Target led Walmart while Gap was ahead of H&M. Social media results are based on over 35 million social mentions from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday captured and analyzed from blogs, Google+, Reddit, Twitter, Dailymotion, Flickr, Instagram, Tumblr, Foursquare, YouTube, WordPress and others.