Alibaba sales race ahead on Singles Day

Alibaba sales race ahead on Singles Day

Sales on Alibaba's platforms race above 10 billion yuan ($1.53 billion) in just three minutes on Saturday.[Photo by He Wei/chinadaily.com.cn]

Sales on Alibaba's platforms raced above 10 billion yuan ($1.53 billion) in just three minutes, smashing last year's mark of about seven minutes as the e-commerce behemoth raised the curtain of its ninth annual shopping extravaganza called Singles Day on Saturday.

Around 93 percent of deals placed in the first couple of minutes were conducted via mobile devices, the company said.

To attract customers who already regard online shopping as common place, Alibaba has promised to dish out promotions on more than 15 million products from 140,000 brands on its marketplaces, up from 100,000 brands in 2016.

The company has also upped the ante in its social media efforts by providing more interactive content and entertainment, including a catwalk show offering a glimpse of products on offer as well as a star-stubbed countdown gala in Shanghai.

Last year, some 120.7 billion yuan was spent on the group's various platforms from 100,000 brands. That was a staggering 2,000-fold increase from 2009 when the event debuted.

Consultancy Frost &Sullivan has predicted that this year's event will see gross merchandise volume reach 150 billion yuan, a rise of 24.3 percent year-on-year.

Singles Day has spread from Alibaba to draw in other e-commerce operators and this year will spill over into brick-and-mortar stores, where customers can enjoy augmented reality-powered product trials and check items in physical shops even if they place the order online.

It is also getting an international flavor with the group enticing over 60,000 international labels to offer discounts to satiate Chinese surging demand for high-quality imported goods.

[ Editor: Zhang Zhou ]
 

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