Alibaba’s ‘Singles Day’ shopping event is coming up and the company has already kicked off the festivities.
The event is in its 10th year and now a monthlong shopping festival, and the company says this will be its biggest ever. Alibaba said that its upcoming mega-shopping event will be the largest-ever in terms of “scale and reach” as it looks to continue growing what has become a multibillion-dollar sales day.
Current Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang created the event in 2009. That year the Singles Day Festival brought in $7.8 million in gross merchandise value. Total GMV generated in 2017 was $25.3 billion. In comparison, online sales for Black Friday in the U.S. racked up $5 billion last year, according to data from Adobe.
CEO Daniel Zhang said, “This year marks the 10th anniversary of 11.11. On the back of China’s explosive digital transformation, the Festival’s astounding growth over the past decade has powered the steady rise in quality consumption sought by Chinese shoppers. The evolution also showcases the development of the Alibaba ecosystem over time, expanding well beyond e-commerce,”
The event attracts a wide range of brands. The company states that over 180,000 brands from China and other countries will take part in the event, up from 140,000 last year. 200,000 smart stores featuring categories like apparel, home décor, and consumer goods “will help boost traffic to offline and online shopping destinations,” according to the company. The festival will also cross into other countries with Philippine ecommerce company Lazada will be holding an 11.11 Shopping Festival for the first time across the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia.
The festival will also feature local businesses and services. Koubei, a “life search engine” that is a sub-organization of Alibaba, aims to draw in users through “half-price discounts” on offerings such as karaoke bars and hair salons. And let’s not forget grocery: Alibaba’s Hema supermarket will “designate 11.11 signature stores featuring a number of promotions.” The company also plans to have a “See Now, Buy Now” Fashion Show from the Tmall Collection broadcast on multiple platforms to give “customers the opportunity to buy their favorite items on the spot.”