Alibaba has generated a record USD 25 billion in sales during its Singles’ Day event via a combination of online and in-store retail discount campaign.
The ecommerce company has sold merchandise and products to shoppers from over 225 countries and Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang said that the company has plans to make Singles’ Day a global event.
The date of Nov. 11 emerged as a counter-cultural antidote to the sentimentality of Valentine’s Day. It takes its name from the way the day is written numerically as 11/11, which resembles “bare branches,” a local expression for the unattached.
The event generated a 39% increase in sales, exceeding Citigroup estimates, which predicted a 30% increase, and defying concerns of an economic slowdown. Over 82 brands sold products and merchandise valued at more than 100 million yuan.
Mobile payments methods were used to complete over 90% of the transactions. At its peak, Alibaba’s processors handled 256,000 transactions per second.
Omnichannel commerce propelled Alibaba's sales
An important factor that drove this growth was an optimal integration of the offline and the online by combining technology for processing payments but also data, which was used by brands to offer consumers personalized offerings.
For example, Alibaba employees helped over 600,000 small convenience stores and about 1,000 brands upgrade their computer systems. Those retailers, many in prime city locations, will become delivery and storage centers.
To connect a 10th of China’s six million convenience stores to the internet, Alibaba uses an app called Ling Shou Tong, meaning “connect retail.” Convenience stores are given suggestions on what to procure and how to display merchandise. The goods are shipped from dedicated Alibaba warehouses, cutting the middlemen.
The company is also converting 100,000 retail outlets into so-called smart stores. Brands including Levis and L’Oreal are taking part. If one shop runs short of certain inventory, customers can track availability at other locations. They can also get goods delivered to their home.