China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd registered record sales worth over $30 billion (213.5 billion yuan) on its Singles Day Shopping Bonanza on Sunday.
Singles Day or Double 11 is the world’s biggest online shopping event that falls on 11 November and has outpaced the sales of shopping holidays Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined in the United States.
On Sunday, shoppers in China and across the globe flocked into Alibaba’s online portals and grabbed hot items including iPhones, milk powder, and furniture, helping the company exceed the 100 billion yuan mark in less than two hours.
The event was originally a day-off to celebrate being single opposing Valentine’s Day but it has grown into biggest online shopping festival for a month that peaks with a 24-hour sale on November 11.
This year, Alibaba jumped from last year’s full-day sales record of 168 billion yuan in just 16 hours. However, year-on-year sales growth fell from 39% to 27%, the slowest rate in the Singles Day 10-year sales history.
According to Reuters news, the company is struggling with weaker sales forecasts amid the trade tensions between China and the U.S that have affected the nation’s economy.
After the company’s stock price doubled up in 2017, it fell about 16 percent this year, sending further chills through the full-year sales outlook that dropped by 4-6 percent earlier this month.
To compensate the plunge, as reported in Reuters, Alibaba will retain brands and attract new shoppers by taking in less commission from its platform in the near term. The company has recorded about 75% of new customers from ‘less developed’ areas amid its slow sales growth in the country’s eastern megacities including Beijing and Shanghai.
Alibaba’s vice chairman Joe Tsai said that while sales of cosmetics and small appliances peaked on Sunday, big-ticket items such as larger appliances dropped due to a downturn in the housing market in China. As the people are not buying new homes, they aren’t buying large appliances, he added.
This year, over 180,000 Chinese as well as international brands celebrated the retail frenzy Singles Day with goods offered at atomized price, 237 of them surpassed 100 million yuan mark in gross merchandise value.
The top countries selling to China were the U.S., Japan, South Korea, Germany, and Australia, Bloomberg reported, the most common items purchased overseas include woolen clothes, hoodies, dresses, and pants.