Alibaba, China’s largest online company, reported gross merchandise value (GMV) of $30.8 billing on Singles Day or 11/11. This metric, which represents the dollar value of goods sold by third parties over Alibaba’s platform, is up 22 percent from last year. Singles Day is the largest online shopping day in China, far exceeding the value of US online sales on Cyber Monday which reached a record $7.9 billion in 2018.
Singles Day isn’t just larger than Cyber Monday. It’s larger than US online sales on Thanskgiving ($3.7 billion), Black Friday ($6.2 billion), Cyber Monday ($7.9 billion) and the Saturday and Sunday in between ($6.4 billion). The online shopping holiday began with a fast start, with Alibaba recording more than $1 billion worth of sales in the first 90 seconds of the event.
While GMV increased from $25.3 billion to $30.8 billion on Singles Day in 2018, the year-over-year growth rate is down from 40 percent between 2016 and 2017. Alibaba reported a GMV of $5.7 billion in 2013, and this figure has grown more than five-fold in just five years.
Singles Day is ten years old this year, and although it’s led by Alibaba the surge in online shopping benefits many merchants and retailers who sell on the platform, including those overseas. Nearly 60 percent of Singles Day shoppers planned to buy goods from overseas sellers, while products purchased on Singles Day were most likely to come from Japan, the United States and South Korea.
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