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12 November 2017, 01:59 | Nina Hammond
It’s almost time for the world’s largest online shopping day
Singles' Day is China's much larger version of Black Friday.
Past year the shopping holiday drove $18 billion worth of retail sales for participating sellers, a pop-up luxury hub, Double 11 Musée, will appear online and in the Tmall app for high-end brands.
This was 29 percent higher than 2016, when the online shopping company made $17.8 billion.
Alibaba's 11.11 has grown beyond an annual online shopping bonanza to become a key driving force in transforming the lifestyle of Chinese consumers today through modern technologies. Quirkier items meant to nail in on the joke about the nature of Singles' Day were heavily promoted, such as a one time payment of 11,111 yuans (roughly $1,672 USD) for a lifetime supply of baiju liquor. The yearly buying binge has become crucial for manufacturers and retailers across the country, accounting for a significant share of annual orders for many businesses.
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Mobile transactions account for 93 per cent of transactions so far this year, a further lift from the whole-day average of 85 per cent in 2016. There were 256,000 payment transactions processed per second by Alipay, Alibaba's Alizila news website reported.
Combined with Amazon's acquisition of grocery chain Whole Foods, Alibaba's plans mark a broader trend of the e-commerce giants moving into brick-and-mortar retail. Alibaba's been trying to tell us all along, like all good friends do when they see the writing on the wall, but a record day of sales may just prove the point once and for all.
Alibaba and JD stock have both doubled this year as revenues surged. Ahead of the event, the retailer also outfitted almost 100,000 of its Tmall stores across China with facial recognition technology to process payments. "I have often emptied my "shopping cart" on Singles Day", Zheng said.
Singles Day takes place every year on 11 November and it's a Chinese festival for young people to celebrate when they are single. It already has a substantial stake in Lazada, an online retailer in South-east Asia and recently launched an electronic trading hub in Malaysia.
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