- Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba turned Singles’ Day into a massive retail event in 2009.
- Sales from Alibaba’s shopping event have grown about 10 times since then to hit $US78 ($AU106) billion last year.
- The shopping season is now embraced by retailers nationwide in China.
Since then, the Singles’ Day shopping extravaganza has spread to retailers nationwide in China.
This year, Alibaba’s Tmall has teased an upcoming appearance by British actor Benedict Cumberbatch on its Weibo microblog.
We’ve put together some statistics to show the magnitude of the cultural phenomenon that is Singles’ Day.
Last year, the 11-day event saw 250,000 brands participating and generating 498.2 Chinese billion yuan ($US78 ($AU106) billion in today’s exchange rate) in sales for the company.
The skyrocketing sales come amid rapid growth in the Chinese economy. China’s GDP grew almost three times from 5.1 trillion in 2009 to $US14.7 ($AU20) trillion in 2020, according to World Bank data.
Last year, US retailers pulled in $US9 ($AU12) billion on Black Friday and another $US10.84 ($AU15) billion in online sales on Cyber Monday, according to Adobe Analytics. But Alibaba alone generated well over $US70 ($AU95) billion in sales over its 11-day sales period.
“Compared to Singles’ Day, Cyber Monday and Black Friday, the biggest online shopping days in the United States, look like exercises in frugality,” wrote Statista’s Felix Richter.
This year, Austin Li Jiaqi — a top livestreamer in China known as the “Lipstick King” — sold about $US1.7 ($AU2) billion worth of goods in 12 hours in the run-up to the mega shopping day on November 11.
There are no official figures for the waste generated, but environmental group Greenpeace Singles’ Day estimated 52,400 metric tons of carbon dioxide were produced from manufacturing, packaging, and shipping — and that was in 2017, Bloomberg reported.