After generating RMB120.7bn (US$17.7bn) in gross merchandise volume (GMV) in just 24 hours, Alibaba’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival in 2016 has strengthened its position as the world’s largest one-day online sale event.
A new set of sale records
The GMV figure represents a 32% increase in transactions that played out over Alibaba’s ecommerce platforms—mostly on B2C site Tmall.com and C2C marketplace site Taobao—last year.
In addition, the festival saw a number of other new records set. 82% of the total sales, amounted to RMB98.9bn (US$14.6bn), were generated on mobile device. Also, 657 million delivery orders were placed, a 40% increase compared with 467 million orders made in 2015.
This year, new online shopping pattern has emerged where consumers filled their online shopping carts in the weeks leading up to the sale and clicked “Buy” right at midnight. Total GMV soared past RMB100m (US$14.6m) in just 40 seconds, while it took just under 5 minutes to reach US$1bn mark,
A more global platform
11.11 isn’t a purely Chinese affair. According to Alibaba, 235 countries and regions completed cross-border transactions during the festival, with thousands of international brands participating.
The introduction of Buy+, the world’s first-ever end-to-end virtual reality (VR) shopping platform also enables global retailers who might not have a physical presence in China to engage with Chinese consumers. The platform features eight virtual stores: Macy’s, Target, Costco, P&G, Chemist Warehouse, Freedom Foods, Tokyo Otaku Mode and Matsumoto Kiyoshi. Using cardboard VR headsets distributed in October, consumers can virtually walk around Macy’s Herald Square flagship in New York City to find products and, with just a nod of the head, confirm payment to purchase an item they see.
A new way forward for retailing
“This year’s 11.11 is a preview of the future of retail, where entertainment, commerce and interactive engagement intersect seamlessly,” said Daniel Zhang, chief executive officer of Alibaba Group. “From the kick-off of warm-up activities to last night’s countdown gala and all the way through the 24-hour global shopping festival itself, we’ve seen unprecedented engagement between consumers and merchants. 11.11 showcased how online and offline retail will be reinvented to offer brand new shopping experiences to our hundreds of millions of mobile, digitally savvy active users.”
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