Singles’ Day is now unrivaled as the biggest retail sales event in history
With US$38 billion in 24 hours, China Singles’ Day sales smash all records for online sales anywhere in the world
12 November 2019 | Richard Coleville
What started out as a university prank in the early 1990s has evolved into the single biggest retail sales event in the history of the world. Legend says that four young men who shared a dorm at Nanjing University in eastern China, were annoyed that couples had Valentines Day to be pampered. So they declared November 11th 1993 the first Singles’ Day.
Because the number “1” resembles a solitary figure the date gained significance; and in 2009 the first ever Singles’ Day for online sales was launched by e-commerce giant Alibaba. In its second year sales grew by 1,700 percent, taking just three years to smash through the US$1 billion sales barrier.
Record numbers for 2019
Since then the numbers have kept growing, in 2019 every imaginable record was broken. Here are some of the numbers from the sales event which kicked-off on the stroke of midnight:
Sales of Alibaba’s e-commerce platform Tmall hit 10 billion yuan (US$1.43 billion) at just one minute and 36 seconds into the sale.
One hour, three minutes and 59 seconds after midnight, sales hit 100 billion yuan.
At one hour, 26 minutes and seven seconds after midnight, sales on Tmall hit 120.7 billion yuan, exceeding the total sales on Singles’ Day in 2016.
It took 14 hours 21 minutes and 27 seconds to hit 200 billion yuan, eight hours less than last year.
At 16 hours and 31 minutes, sales at Tmall passed last year’s record total by exceeded 213.5 billion yuan.
Alibaba hosting event in Shanghai showing just 1 minute and 36 seconds to reach 10 billion yuan in online sales
Alibaba’s “Double 11” orders peaked at 544,000 orders per second, setting a new record.
During the first Singles’ Day shopping festival in 2009, only 27 brands participated. This year, more than 220,000 brands from over 200 countries and regions participated in this year’s shopping spree.
More than 10 million items were available for purchase during the shopping festival on Tmall this year.
More than 100,000 online shops provided a live broadcast for consumer interaction.
TMall’s live-streaming sector surpassed 10 billion yuan in just nine hours.
Nearly 1,000 foreign cyber celebrities broadcasted live on Tmall in different languages to boost global consumption.
China’s Postal Service says a total of 2.8 billion packages are expected to be handled in the seven day period following November 11th.