Alibaba’s annual Singles’ Day shopping event has shattered records once again, generating a staggering $74 billion in sales and solidifying its position as the world’s biggest sales event. This year’s event, which lasted for 11 days, saw Alibaba’s platforms receive a staggering 21 times more orders than Amazon’s Prime Day, emphasizing its dominance in the e-commerce market.

The success of Singles’ Day holds significant importance for China’s economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic. As travel restrictions limited consumers’ ability to shop in-person, online shopping became the preferred method, resulting in skyrocketing sales for e-commerce giants like Alibaba, JD.com, and Pinduoduo.

To capitalize on this trend, Alibaba extended its discount period beyond the usual November 11, offering discounts from November 1 to November 3. This strategic move paid off, with the company reporting a gross merchandise volume (GMV) of a staggering 498.2 billion yuan ($74 billion) over the 11-day period. JD.com also witnessed substantial success, generating 271.5 billion yuan ($40.8 billion) in trade during the same period.

However, Alibaba’s triumph during Singles’ Day was somewhat overshadowed by a dip in its shares following the release of draft anti-trust rules by the Chinese government. These rules aim to scrutinize internet platforms and payment services, potentially impacting Alibaba’s operations. As a result, the company’s shares on the Hong Kong stock exchange fell by 9.8%, while its New York-listed shares experienced a decline of 1.3%.

Despite these challenges, Singles’ Day remained a prominent event, with over 340 brands surpassing sales of 100 million yuan ($15 million). Luxury brands particularly benefited from the event, as consumers who typically purchase high-end goods overseas were unable to do so due to travel restrictions.

This year’s Singles’ Day event underwent adaptations due to the pandemic. While it is typically a one-day affair with live performances, this year included virtual appearances by renowned U.S. singer Katy Perry via livestream. Additionally, shoppers had the opportunity to play mobile games for exclusive deals and combine purchases from various shops, making the event engaging and interactive.

Livestreaming has emerged as a critical tool for sales during events like Singles’ Day. Influencers and livestreamers spent hours promoting products on camera, showcasing them in real-time, and engaging with potential buyers. This personalized experience has proven to be highly effective in driving sales and connecting brands with consumers.

Despite the drop in Alibaba’s shares and the introduction of new anti-trust rules, Singles’ Day demonstrated its enduring success for e-commerce companies in China. With the ongoing impact of the pandemic and the growing popularity of online shopping, events like Singles’ Day have become essential for businesses to reach consumers and drive sales.

Useful links:
Alizila – Singles’ Day Ends with Record $74B Sales
CNBC – Luxury brands benefit the most on Alibaba’s Singles’ Day