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Singles Day sales hit £14bn

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Singles Day sales hit $17.8bn (£14.3bn) in 2016 – 32% up on the same day last year.

Some 82% of the figure, which represents the total gross merchandise volume (GMV) settled through Alipay on Alibaba’s China and international retail marketplaces, or $14.6bn (£11.75bn) was spent over mobile devices.

“This year’s 11.11 is a preview of the future of retail, where entertainment, commerce and interactive engagement intersect seamlessly,” said Daniel Zhang, chief executive officer of Alibaba Group. He said the event had seen “unprecedented engagement between consumers and merchants”, adding: “11.11 showcased how online and offline retail will be reinvented to offer brand new shopping experiences to our hundreds of millions of mobile, digitally savvy active users.”

Over the course of the day, Alipay, the Alibaba payment solution, processed more than a billion transactions in total, reaching 120,000 per second at peak while delivery arm Cainiao Network processed more than 657m delivery orders.

Japan, the United States, South Korea, Australia and Germany were the leading countries selling to China, by GMV, and the top brands by GMV included, from the US, Apple, Nike and New Balance, and from Europe, Siemens, Philips, Adidas and Jack Jones. In all, transactions took place from 235 countries, and 37% of buyers bought from international merchants or brands.

The 11.11 shopping festival began in 2009 when 27 merchants took part in an event that was designed for Tmall.com traders to raise awareness of the value that online shopping could offer. Seven years on, 11.11 – celebrated as Singles Day in China because the date contains only the number one – has become a global event.

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