Alibaba held its 10th annual Singles’ Day sale on November 11th (known as 11.11), which hit a record $30.8 billion in one-day sales. This is a 27% year-over-year rise compared to the $25.3 billion achieved last year.
At one point, Alibaba recorded $10 billion in sales in only one hour after opening at midnight. Analysts have been saying that the event’s annual growth dropped to its slowest rate ever though. The sales growth rate fell from 39% to 27%, which was the smallest rate in 10-year history.
As a comparison, Amazon’s Prime Day sale in July is estimated to generate about $4 billion in sales through the sales of 100 million items. And Black Friday generates approximately $14.05 billion in online sales across 4,500 US websites over a four-day period, of which $6.59 billion happens on Cyber Monday.
But Alibaba’s numbers are based on gross merchandise volume (GMV) according to Bloomberg, which does not correlate with revenue. Currently, there is a lack of a standardized way of measuring GMV.
What is Singles’ Day? Known as “Double 11,” it is a Chinese event that started out as a student holiday to celebrate being single as a counter to Valentine’s Day. Later it became associated with a month-long festival for online shopping.
Alibaba has been seeing a tightening in sales outlook due to trade tensions with the US, which had a direct impact on China’s economy. And Recently, Alibaba revised its full-year sales outlook by 4% to 6% causing the company’s stock price to drop about 16%. So Alibaba said it will collect less commission from the platform in order to attract more buyers and incentivize its brand partners.
Interestingly, Alibaba said 75% of new users in the last quarter were from “less developed” areas. This helped make up for the slowdown from cities with better economies like Shanghai and Beijing.
“I think you have to understand Alibaba and what Alibaba’s doing in the context of the long-term secular trend that’s developing in China, which is the rise of the Chinese middle class,” said Alibaba Executive Vice Chairman Joe Tsai in a blog post. ” That trend is not going to stop, trade war or no trade war.”
After releasing the figures of the brand popularity for the 11.11 shopping, it was determined that Apple was at the top. According to CNBC, Apple said that Apple was one of the 237 brands to surpass 100 million yuan (approximately $14.36 million).
This comes as a surprise because Apple faces aggressive competition from lower cost local phone makers in China like Xiaomi and Huawei. Apple beat both of those brands followed by Huawei in second place and Xiaomi in third place for the phone makers.