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German retailers cash in on Alibaba Singles Day as it sells $38.4 billion in goods

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Alibaba saw $38.4 billion in sales over its platform during its annual shopping festival, up 26% compared to last year.

11.11, or Singles Day, sees the Chinese ecommerce giant heavily promoting and discounting products. It launched in 2009 with 27 merchants, a figure which has since grown to more than 200,000.

According to stats from Alibaba, Germany was the fifth biggest foreign country selling into China via the platform, behind Japan, the US, South Korea and Australia.

The top European brands selling during the festival included H&M, L’Oréal, Nestlé and Philips, Alibaba said. Spanish retailer El Corte Ingles also marked the event with 1111 offers on its website and in shopping centres.

The festival saw Alibaba looking to spotlight sustainability, allowing customers to recycle unwanted packaging at 40,000 stations set up by subsidiary Cainaio and 35,000 set up by courier partners.

Customers recycling packaging could scan a QR code via one of Alibaba’s apps to receive “green energy points”, which can be redeemed in various sustainability projects in China. Customers could also pledge in advance to recycle and receive discounts during the sale, with 20 million people doing so as of 11 November.

From 1 to 11 November, the company also hosted a trade-in programme for used electronics, allowing customers to book pick up used devices and receive compensation and discounts.

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