Singles’ Day was started in 1993 at Nanjing University as a day for students to celebrate their singledom, and they selected 11/11 because the 1’s symbolize solo living. Alibaba realized Singles’ Day could be a marketing opportunity, and in 2009 they launched their first shopping event on 11/11, with 27 brands generating total gross merchandise volume (GMV) of $7.8 million. Over the past decade, Alibaba has transformed the holiday into a massive one-day shopping event.
Last year, total GMV on Alibaba’s various platforms hit $30.8 billion, up 27% from the prior year, and a huge 252% CAGR over the previous nine years. Consider the scale in the context of consumer spending from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday last year which totaled $24.2 billion, with Black Friday—11.11’s counterpart—bringing in just $6.22 billion, according to Adobe Insights.
“Today we showed the world what the future of consumption looks like for brands and consumers,” Fan Jiang, President of Taobao and Tmall, said in a statement. “We are meeting the growing demand of Chinese consumers and helping them upgrade their lifestyles while introducing new users to our digital economy from across China and around the world.”
The numbers are in for 11:11 2019, and they are astounding:
- In the first minute and eight seconds, GMV settled through Alipay reached US$1.0 billion
- In the first hour, GMV settled through Alipay reached US$12.0 billion
- More than 200,000 participating brands
- 1 million new products launched for 11.11
- Cainiao Network processed 1.3 billion delivery orders
- 90% of sales happened via a smartphone
- More than 1 million orders were placed and processed through voice command via Alibaba’s Tmall Genie
- Top five countries selling to China through Alibaba’s cross-border platforms by GMV: Japan, United States, South Korea, Australia, Germany
- 299 brands surpassed RMB100 million (US$14.3 million) and 15 of those brands surpassed RMB1 billion (US$143.0 million) in GMV; top brands included: Apple, Bose, Estée Lauder, Gap, H&M, L’Oréal, Levi’s, MUJI, Nestlé, Nike, Philips, The North Face, Under Armour, Uniqlo
- Taobao live streaming generated more than $15.1 billion in GMV in 2018, an increase of almost 400% year over year
- 7.5% of Alibaba’s total sales came from live streaming
- Singles’ Day moved offline this year. For example, Chinese department store chain Intime transformed into a digitalized store using Alibaba’s New Retail approach, and 60% of its customers made purchases through the Intime app to pick up in-store.
- Smaller cities played an important role in Singles’ Day. Alibaba said that Juhuasuan, its e-commerce platform that targets tier-3 cities and below, had 7,000 items that hit over a million orders and 576 items that received over 10 million orders.
- L’Oréal and Estée Lauder were among the top brands ranked by sale
- Within 25 minutes, 410,000 bottles of Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair eye cream were sold during Tmall’s Singles’ Day presale on October 21 breaking its 2018 sales.
- Estée Lauder was the first brand in the history of 11.11 to reach one billion RMB in pre-orders alone.
- MAC sold 60,000 units of a limited-edition lipstick created for Singles’ Day
- L’Oréal invested in seventeen hours of Tmall/Taobao livestreaming on its first pre-sale day and generated 700% more GMV from livestreaming than it did last year.
- Erno Laszlo sold 661K pieces Hydra-Therapy Memory Sleep Mask “pink mask” on Tmall
- Erno Laszlo had the number one SKU across the beauty category on Tmall global with their 28-day Limited Edition Skin Vitality Treatment Mask
- the number one SKU across the beauty category on the Tmall global flagship store platform
- Coresight Research reported the orders generated from live streaming in the beauty category during the pre-sales period were 50 times the total from 2018
Photo: via Alibaba