Almost $6.6 billion in sales were made on Cyber Monday in 2017, up about 17 percent from the previous year, according to Adobe Analytics.
This year, Alibaba said there were around 180,000 brands participating in Singles' Day, and as of 8.00pm on Sunday, sales were nearing $27 billion. And in spite of doomsayers on the subject of China's economy, the e-commerce giant is charging ahead ー tapping both its online and offline resources.
China's answer to the online Cyber Monday and America's post-Thanksgiving "Black Friday" generated US$30.8 billion (NZ$45.76b) this year for Alibaba during its Singles Day shopping promotion.
A screen shows the gross merchandise volume, a measure of sales, after two seconds of Singles' Day sales.
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Online discounts have been offered on 11 November, Alibaba's informal holiday for singles, since 2009. Singles Day looks set to grow and grow and is already the world's biggest shopping event.
A disproportionately large number of sales are recorded in the first minutes of the 24-hour spending spree, when transactions are recorded for items that have been put on hold. Now that this year's one-day bazaar will be Ma's last as chairman, Zhang will need to prove he can carry on the legacy.
Total online sales on Black Friday reached $US5 billion in 2017, according to Adobe Analytics data. But he mostly shrugged off the threat, arguing declining sales on big ticket items are being offset by sales in areas, like fashion apparel, cosmetics and mother and baby products, plus, he added, "6.5 percent GDP growth in China is still pretty robust".
Singles Day began as a spoof event celebrated by unattached Chinese university students in the 1990s. The holiday originally didn't have much to do with shopping.
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However, Singles' Day is far larger than Prime Day.
The company settled roughly 69 billion yuan ($9.92 billion) in the first hour of Singles' Day on Sunday, up roughly 21 percent from last year's early haul of 57 billion yuan.
This year, Alibaba is hoping to up the ante, by combining online and in-person retail opportunities ー a vision Alibaba calls "New Retail".
In the first hour of this year's Singles' Day, the top countries selling to China were Japan, the US and South Korea, and the most popular items purchased overseas were dresses, wool coats, trousers and hoodies. "Now we can achieve it in one hour", Reuters reported.
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