Alibaba’s Singles Day smashes online shopping record; India’s ecommerce market next on the horizon?

Editor | Sep 10, 2020

The collaboration of mega movie stars Kevin Spacey and Daniel Craig would surely spark of a box office hit. That’s exactly what happend when Alibaba’s head honcho Jack Ma invited them along for the ride as he produced, directed and starred in a record breaking Singles Day, where Chinese consumers spent an astounding $14.3 billion in a single day of online shopping.

  • Over 40,000 merchants sold on the platform
  • Mobile accounted for $9.8bn of sales, which was more than last year

Out of the box

Singles day which is promoted as a consumer holiday in China by Alibaba is also known as the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival. The humongous online emporium most definitely lived up to its billing. Last year Singles Day achieved a then an unimaginable record of $9 billion in sales revenue. This years shopping bonanza shattered the previous record by quite a margin and would have left global ecommerce competitors slightly flustered once they got an opportunity to decipher the copious figures. Like Alibaba’s marketing of the event, its products quite literally jumped out of the box.

Massive Warehousing issues leading up to Singles Day

Behind the scenes

Behind all the glitz and glamour that we see on stage on Singles Day, there is also lots of meticulous planning done. This includes warehousing, logistics and training staff to handle the outrageous spike in demand. During last years festive season in India, the unexpected surge in sales exposed a chink in the armour of our most respected marketplaces, although this year there was a lot of improvement. Citing the sheer scale of operations on Singles Day there is plenty that we can learn and adapt to fit our online selling environment here in India. No doubt even Alibaba gets its fair share of negative publicity, in terms of fakes on its platform and bad market conditions causing share price to suffer, but it simply just picks itself up with an attitude that the show must go on.

Packers and sorters being trained in the build up to Singles day

How it transpired?

  • $4bn was reached after the first hour alone
  • Last years record of $9bn was toppled by 11.49am local time
  • After 24 hours the $14.3 bn jackpot was achieved

How does Singles day compares to its counterparts?

Alibaba India bound

Last month Alibaba invested an incredible $680 million in Paytm. This increased its stake in the Indian ecommerce company to 42% becoming its majority shareholder in the process. With mobile wallets and cash-back facility seen as the future of Indian ecommerce and Paytm already enjoying a certain status in the categories, the future looks bright for Alibaba in India. Also with innovations by Paytm such as the Virtual Chinese Bazaar and the recent tie up with Microsoft, the ecommerce world will be waiting with bated breath to see if Alibaba can repeat its Singles Day success story with its Indian affiliates. Interesting times ahead indeed.

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Editor team is specialized in introducing the marketplace content targeting the Indian online sellers. They plan and coordinate to bring the appealing content for the small businesses on how to partner with the e-commerce sites like Amazon and Flipkart and strategies for improving their online business. 

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