Think Flipkart’s sale was huge? China’s Alibaba sale was 48 times larger
Last week, Indians had to wrestle with newspapers brimming over with about 10 full-page ads for shopping websites ? and that was even before they got to the front page. Online retailer Flipkart’s six-day festival season Big Billion sale prompted other e-tailers to join the party too.
As Indians were busy splurging for Diwali, China on Wednesday was witnessing the world’s largest online sale on a single day. Called the Single’s Day, the somewhat obscure tradition of bachelors and bachelorettes celebrating with their carefree lives was transformed into an online shopping extravaganza by the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba nearly six years ago.
While the giant holds a massive 80% share of the Chinese e-commerce market, other e-tailers in China have also started offering massive discounts on a wide variety of products to cash in on the day-long spending rush on November 11. In just one day, Single’s Day sales far surpassed Flipkart’s six-day-long sale and has reportedly overtaken the sales figures of US’s Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) and Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving) combined.
Alibaba now makes close to 2.5% of its annual revenues on Single’s Day.
Like its counterparts in India, the Chinese website also mounted a splashy publicity campaign. Apart from hosting a four-hour long TV show featuring James Bond star Daniel Craig, the company also called upon Kevin Spacey to do a two-minute video as his House of Cards character Frank Underwood.
This year, Single’s Day sales were just past $14.5 billion ? which is 54% more than sales last year, according to the data analytics firm comscore. In fact, it took only 12 hours for figure to surpass that of last year. Alibaba predicts that it will ship close to 17 lakh products on orders received during the sale.
By comparison, India’s Flipkart recorded a mere $300 million in revenues and saw 80 lakh shipments.