Fascinating data from China
Bloomberg: "Alibaba sold $5 billion in merchandise during the first 90 minutes of the day, putting it on track to top last year’s $9.3 billion in revenue."
"Alibaba estimates that 1.7 million deliverymen, 400,000 delivery vehicles, 5,000 warehouses and 200 airplanes will be deployed by its partners to handle the deliveries. China Post, the country's postal service, estimates that 760 million packages will be shipped by various Chinese e-shopping sites to customers on the day. That’s up significantly from 540 million packages produced last year, according to a post office quote by Alibaba's news site Alizila."
The Economist: "On November 11th last year, Alibaba, an e-commerce company, sold 57.1 billion yuan ($9.3 billion)-worth of goods; the first 10 billion yuan-worth was sold in just 38 minutes. This far eclipsed the $1.5 billion spent online by Americans on “Black Friday”, the day after Thanksgiving, which in the United States has become the biggest spending day of the year online, thanks to steep discounts. Surveys suggest Chinese consumers will set new records this year on Singles’ Day (also called “Bare Branches Day”, after a slang term for single men)."
Reuters: Alibaba's Singles' Day generates $3.9 billion in GMV in first hour: "This compares with $2 billion recorded in about an hour in the 2014 sales event, which is held on Nov. 11 and is called "Double Eleven". Alibaba said nearly 130 million users visited its mobile online marketplace app, Taobao, exceeding the peak volume recorded in 2014 in the hours leading up to the event. "
Background on e-commerce in China
Alibaba remains China’s e-commerce market leader, but is increasingly feeling the heat from rivals such as JD.com Inc. Some of the Singles’ Day rivalry has turned ugly with JD.com filing a complaint with a Chinese antitrust regulator two weeks before the big sales day accusing Alibaba of pressuring merchants to withdraw from JD.com’s promotions. Alibaba denies the accusations.
China has become the world’s second-largest e-tail market, with estimates as high as $210 billion for revenues in 2012 and a compound annual growth rate of 120 percent since 2003. The country’s retail sector already is among the most wired anywhere—e-tailing commanded about 5 to 6 percent of total retail sales in 2012, compared with 5 percent in the United States—while it is distinctly different from that of other countries. Only a small portion of Chinese e-tailing takes place directly between consumers and retailers, whether online pure plays or brick-and-mortar businesses on retailers’ own Web sites. Instead, most occurs on digital marketplaces.