Alibaba once again broke a record on Singles’ Day, reaching a 22 billion euro turnover. The Chinese online giant took full advantage of its Global Shopping Festival, with an important part for Nicole Kidman.
Bachelors’ celebration sells
Singles’ Day is not such a big deal in Western Europe, but the originally Chinese celebration of the bachelor has turned into an awe-inspiring purchase spree. The online shopper bought 168 billion yuan (22 billion euro) worth of products, thanks to Alibaba’s discounts. The new record trumps the previous one by 39 %, surpassing it after only 13 hours of sales.
At the peak, Alibaba’s own eWallet payment solution, Alipay, registered about 256,000 payments per second. In total, nearly 1.5 billion transactions were registered and about 800 million packages will arrive at the customers’ doorstep in the next few days and weeks.
Shopping is entertainment
Alibaba’s Global Shopping Festival on Singles’ Day also demonstrates the company considers a merger between offline and online is the future of retail. “New Retail helps create a shopping experience that integrates all types of channels. See Now Buy Now fashion show’s viewers could order their favourite products by shaking their smartphone when they saw something they liked”, Roland Palmer, Alibaba Benelux’ general manager, said.
The event also hosted an impressive gala with actress Nicole Kidman and rapper Pharrell Williams as its hosts. Alibaba clearly uses entertainment to stimulate sales and that was a calculated move. “The Singles’ Day Gala combined entertainment, shopping and interactive involvement and that is why it is such a unique success. Shopping is entertainment nowadays”, Palmer said.
The event not only benefits Chinese sellers, because 60,000 international brands also offered their products for sale and six of them generated more than 150 million dollars (130 million euro). The best-selling companies hail from Japan, the United States, Australia and Germany.