- Single’s Day is set to start on Saturday, November 11.
- Alibaba pulled in $US17.8 billion in sales during last year’s holiday and could bring in even more this year.
- Watch Alibaba’s stock move in real time here.
The biggest shopping holiday in the world isn’t Black Friday. In fact, it’s not even close.
Singles Day is a made-up celebration that gained popularity in China as an alternative to Valentine’s day. Every year on November 11 (11/11), Chinese retailers offer Black Friday-like discounts for those celebrating their independence. For Alibaba, it’s the biggest single day of the year, and the company is gearing up to ship more than 1 billion packages as a result of the holiday.
“The run-up to this year’s 11.11 looks solid, with 140,000 brands participating, of which 60,000 are global (there were ~11,000 global brands on Tmall at last year’s event),” Youssef Squali, an analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey said in a note to clients.
The logistics arm of Alibaba is expecting to fulfil more than 1 billion orders from Singles Day, which is 50% more than fulfilled during last year’s holiday, Squali said. Last year, Alibaba raked in $US17.8 billion in sales, 82% of which was purchased on a mobile device. With more international brands participating in the holiday with deals, sales could be much higher than last year, according to Squali.
Comparing Single’s Day to Amazon’s “Prime Day” gives a good idea of the massive scale of the holiday. This year, Amazon recorded a record $US1 billion in sales for its made up holiday and it was the largest single day for sales in the company’s history. For comparison, Alibaba shoppers spent $US1 billion in the first 5 minutes of Single’s Day last year.
Adding together the sales from the most recent Prime Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the US only total 43% of the sales from last year’s Single’s Day. And this year’s sales are expected to be even larger than last year.
Other retailers will be trying to replicate Alibaba’s success on Singles Day. JD.com has partnered with Tencent and Baidu to attract as many shoppers to its platform as possible. JD.com has also partnered with Walmart to help fill customer’s orders, which could lead to an increase over last year’s $US60 million in sales for Single’s Day, Squali said.
Alibaba is up 110% this year.