Singles Day originated in China in 2009 as an anti-Valentine's Day celebration for young single people to splurge on items for themselves. Also called Double 11, taking place on November 11, the event used to be a 24-hour flash sale but has transformed into a global multi-day shopping extravaganza, ending at midnight on 11.11. The annual event started with 27 Tmall merchants. This year more than 290,000 brands participated and offered more than 14 million deals.
Singles Day racks up more sales than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. Record sales by JD.com and Alibaba were estimated at $139 billion, but they weren't enough to buoy reported sluggish Singles Day in China. This year the extended period helped the companies continue to grow sales. JD.com began sales in late October, while Alibaba started at the beginning of November.
This year's shopping event happened under the cloud of a sweeping government crackdown on private business in China. Earlier this year Alibaba was slapped with a record $2.8 billion fine for behaving like a monopoly, and shed hundreds of billions of dollars in market value. JD.com, Tencent, Pinduoduo, and Meituan have also been investigated or fined over alleged anti-competitive behavior.
Alibaba and JD.com shifted focus from pure sales figures to sustainability and inclusiveness, reflecting the "common prosperity" agenda of President Xi Jinping. "This year's Festival marks a new chapter for 11.11," said Chris Tung, Chief Marketing Officer of Alibaba Group, in a statement. "We believe we must leverage the power of 11.11 to encourage sustainable development and promote inclusiveness to consumers, merchants, and partners across our ecosystem."
- Alibaba said gross merchandise volume (GMV) totaled 540.3 billion yuan ($84.54 billion), a more than 8% jump from last year's 498.2 billion yuan.
- More than 45% of consumers that made purchases were born in the '90s and '00s. Consumers born in '00s increased by 25% year over year.
- 500,000 products with official Green Product Certification from more than 2,000 merchants were featured in a dedicated eco-friendly vertical on Tmall.
- Over 1,600 brands participated in the new membership challenge campaign on Tmall and attracted over 97 million new members during this Global Shopping Festival.
- More than 1.3 million new products were offered by over 29,000 overseas brands that participated via Tmall Global this year, with some 2,800 overseas brands joining for the first time.
- From November 1 to 10, 90 emerging brands remained as the top brand by GMV in their respective small categories for three consecutive years. 275 emerging brands saw their GMV doubled YoY for three consecutive years.
- Over one million packages were delivered by around 350 Xiaomanlv driverless vehicles from November 1 to 10, surpassing the volume of packages delivered by Xiaomanlv vehicles from September 2020 to September 2021.
- Spending in lower-tier cities and rural areas increased by nearly 25% from last year.
"This 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, we delivered steady and quality growth that is a reflection of the dynamic Chinese consumption economy. We also leveraged the power of 11.11 as a platform to fulfill our social responsibility. This year's festival was a meaningful milestone as part of our commitment towards building a sustainable future," said Yang Guang, Vice President at Alibaba Group.
- Transaction volume on JD.com totaled 349.1 billion yuan ($54.6 billion) during the Singles Day period, a 28% increase from the 271.5 billion yuan recorded last year.
- Compared to last year, the number of orders increased by 130% with an increase in GMV of more than 140%.
- 74% of total orders were placed via mobile platforms, including JD.com's native app and through Tencent's WeChat and Mobile QQ platforms, the increasingly popular social media platforms of choice among China's growing population of mobile users.
- More than 52% of first-time customers on JD.com during the day came from WeChat and Mobile QQ.
- Users from lower-tier markets accounted for 77% of all shoppers during the Singles Day period.
“Our record-breaking sales and accelerated growth for the day show that what truly matters to Chinese consumers is the quality, reliability and authenticity that only JD.com guarantees," said Haoyu Shen, CEO of JD Mall. "Across all product categories, from electronics to apparel to fresh food, we have seen tremendous growth because our customers trust JD.com to provide the highest product quality, most efficient service and fastest delivery. On mobile, our partnership with Tencent puts JD.com in front of more than half a billion WeChat and Mobile QQ users, a tremendous industry advantage that enabled us to reach and win over new customers during the sale.”
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