Alibaba aims to set a new high in 11.11 global sale this year

Amrita Nair Ghaswalla Mumbai | Updated on October 23, 2018

Jack Ma, Chairman Alibaba Group Holding Ltd   -  Bloomberg

On November 11, it is confident of crossing last year’s sales of $25.3 b


As Indian e-commerce majors rejoice over the five-day festival sales earlier this month that generated around $2 billion, Chinese e-tailer giant Alibaba is looking forward to surpassing its last year Singles’ Day global sale that amassed $25.3 billion.

The entire size of Indian online retail is projected to touch $25 billion this year.

Alibaba’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival (earlier known as Singles’ Day) is hosted annually on November 11 and is termed the world’s largest 24-hour online shopping event in terms of gross merchandise value (GMV).

Kicking off its Global Shopping Festival, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd promised that this year’s event will be the largest in terms of scale and reach. Last year, the retailer hit a record $18 billion in just 13 hours, eclipsing the previous year’s record of $17.8 billion in 24 hours.

Market research experts attribute the massive growth to retailers competing for a share of consumer spending in China’s growing economy.

Indian e-tailers

Research firm RedSeer Consulting in its report said, during the five-day festival sales from October 9-14, Indian e-tailers achieved sales of about ₹15,000 crore (around $2 billion) , translating to 64 per cent year-on-year growth compared to ₹10,325 crore ($1.4 billion) in 2017.

The size of Indian online retail has also grown tremendously, from $4.5 billion in 2014 (the year of the first festival sale) to $25 billion projected in 2018.

Alibaba is hoping to surpass $25-billion figure in a single day, in this year’s sale.

“This year marks the 10th anniversary of 11.11. On the back of China’s explosive digital transformation, the festival’s astounding growth over the past decade has powered the steady growth of quality consumption sought by Chinese shoppers. The evolution also showcases the development of the Alibaba ecosystem well beyond e-commerce,” Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang said in a statement.

Zhang conceived 11.11 as a concept a decade ago, turning ‘Single's Day’ into the world’s largest annual shopping event. The first 11.11 in 2009 brought in $7.8 million in GMV. Total GMV generated in 2017 was $25.3 billion.

New retail

“Over the last two years, we have pioneered the concept of ‘new retail’ to accelerate digital transformation,” Zhang said, adding the firm will continue to be the driving force to innovate for merchants and customers.

Its ‘new retail’ strategy is the convergence of online and offline retail through technology. The Chinese e-commerce major is building a digital services ecosystem which will enhance customer experience by augmented reality, artificial intelligence and facial recognition.

Alibaba aims to use data and technology to transform retail, including offline retail, which accounts for 82 per cent of the total. The past decade also saw the rise of internet users in China to 802 million, with 98 per cent of them being mobile.

Published on October 23, 2018

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