A look at China’s Singles Day

It’s the world’s biggest online shopping event.

China’s ‘Singles Day’ by e-commerce giant Alibaba has set new sales records year on year.

In 2019, the massive shopping frenzy generated a record $38.4 billion in total sales,

double that of Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

So what exactly is it?

It’s a 24-hour mega-sale that takes place every year on November 11th also known as 11.11 or Double 11.

Alibaba started Singles Day in 2009 marketing it as a festival for singles to treat themselves with retail therapy.

A sort of anti-Valentine’s day.

That year only 27 brands participated.

Last year it was 200,000.

It’s become a highlight of China’s e-commerce industry involving celebrities, live revenue counts and influencers livestreaming products.

Last year it raked in $1 billion in the event’s first 68 seconds and a record setting $23 billion in the first nine hours.

Then, pet food and beauty products were bestsellers.

This year it’s forecasted to be health products like vitamins and air purifiers and particularly luxury goods,

as global travel bans prevent Chinese consumers from shopping overseas.

Indeed pent up demand from lockdowns could mean a big jump in its sales

or what’s being labelled ‘revenge shopping.’

Alibaba says it’s doubled the amount of new products from last year.

And social distancing isn’t a problem – 90% of orders are made from smartphones – most using Alibaba’s payment platform Alipay.

Warehouses are gearing up for the rush.

Alibaba's Cainiao Network says it processed 1.3 billion delivery orders in 2019 – meaning 93% of China’s population received a package.

And they expect those numbers to rise again.

This year’s blitz is being watched as a barometer for how strong consumer appetite is rebounding in China.