It was tipped to break the record and Alibaba’s 2020 Singles Day on 11 November smashed it out of the ball park.
The world’s second biggest economy, tipped to be the best in 2020, shows strong signs of health as a staggering US$74.1 billion in gross merchandise volume was transacted.
Upmarket jewellers Cartier hosted its first live-streamed show on Taobao Live, showcasing a US$28.3 million necklace to an audience of almost 800,000 people. Other luxury stores debuting were Prada, Vacheron Constantin, Piaget, Balenciaga, Kenzo and Chloe.
The jewellery category saw the fastest growth, exceeding the category’s total sales from last year in just 30 minutes, both on Tmall Luxury Pavilion and other Alibaba platforms.
This year, the event featured two shopping windows, the first from 1 to 3 November and the second for 24 hours on Singles Day, November 11, to offer more opportunities for brands and merchants to extend deals to consumers.
Total gross merchandise volume for the event was calculated from 1 to 11 November and smashed last year’s US$38.4 billion figure. The gross merchandise for US brands taking part was US$5.39 billion for the period, the largest contribution from a single country or region outside of China, said Alibaba President Michael Evans in a statement.
About 70% of the paying customers of luxury products on Tmall Luxury Pavilion on Singles Day were making their first luxury purchase. And this group of new luxury customers represents nearly 70% of the total luxury-goods sales generated on the Pavilion during Singles Day.
“A China strategy – and a digital strategy – are going to be absolutely critical for success in the future,” Evans said.
French fashion brand Chloe quickly sold all its handbags.
“China has become super important to international brands because it is the only market doing well,” Pascal Martin, a partner at OC&C Strategy Consultants, told Yahoo! News.
“This has prompted several brands that were still reluctant to go on third party platforms to finally jump on this bandwagon.
Overall, 474 brands participating in Singles Day each surpassed RMB100 million in gross merchandise volume.
“The Chinese economy has bounced back to pre-pandemic levels,” said Alibaba Founder and Executive Vice-Chairman Joe Tsai.
With most of the world still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic, Singles Day offered international brands an opportunity to sell in China, whose economy has recovered strongly. In addition, China’s Millennial and Gen-Z consumers, who have been largely unable to travel internationally, attractive and innovative deals from international brands were well-received.
Overall, 31,766 overseas brands offered goods on Alibaba’s cross-border platforms on Singles Day.
An increasing number of new brands joined Tmall Global – Alibaba’s cross-border ecommerce platform – ahead of Singles Day, viewing “huge domestic demand in the Chinese market as a source of hope,” said Alvin Liu, Tmall Import and Export general manager. This year, over 26,000 brands from 84 countries and regions took part in Singles Day, offering 1.2 million new products from overseas to Chinese consumers.