November marks the commencement of holiday shopping around the globe. E-shoppers in China kicked off the season with record breaking numbers. Here is an instant replay of 11 epic outcomes of China’s Singles Day event.
1. The Midnight Madness
Eager shoppers were ready at the stroke of midnight; e-shoppers were fueled by the desire to shop against the clock. In just minutes, JD.com was on track to exceed its Singles Day totals from years past. Two minutes into the event, their 2010 full-day total was hit; thirteen minutes later, their 2011 full-day total was toppled. Alibaba was making millions by the minute with no time to spare. After 18 minutes, Alibaba exceeded 100 million RMB (approximately $15.72 million USD); 18 minutes later, JD.com hit their full-day total for 2012.
At 4:54 AM JD.com surpassed their total number of orders on Singles Day 2013 and then topped its total order for 2014 by noon. At the conclusion of the first hour, shopping continued increasing at a pace the rest of the world could only imagine. Singles Day 2015 was filled with staggering time-stamped transactions:
2. Alibaba’s Morning Milestones
00:01:12 AM Beijing Time: Total GMV exceeds 1 billion RMB (approximately $157.2 million USD)
00:12:28 AM: Total GMV exceeds 10 billion RMB (approximately $1.57 billion USD)
00:17:58 AM: Mobile GMV exceeds 10 billion RMB (approximately $1.57 billion USD)
00:33:53 AM: Total GMV exceeds 20 billion RMB (approximately $3.14 billion USD)
01:00:00 AM: Total GMV: 24.77 billion RMB (approximately $3.89 billion USD)
01:13:59 AM: Total GMV exceeds 30 billion RMB (approximately $4.72 billion USD)
02:04:41 AM: Mobile GMV exceeds 24.3 billion RMB (approximately $3.82 billion USD), exceeding the total mobile GMV of 2014
04:26:31 AM: Total GMV reaches 36.2 billion RMB (approximately $5.69 billion USD), exceeding the total GMV of 2013
07:45:42 AM: Total GMV has reached 41.7 billion RMB, exceeding the total desktop GMV of 2014 Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday ($6.56 billion USD)
09:52:22 AM: Total GMV exceeds 50 billion RMB (approximately $7.86 billion USD)
11:49:09 AM: Total GMV exceeds that of 2014 (57.1 billion RMB / $8.97 billion USD)
12:00:00 PM: Total GMV exceeds 57.61 billion RMB (approximately $9.05 billion USD)
3. Afternoon Highlights
Consumption disruption was the theme that played on through the afternoon. Minute after minute, hour after hour, Singles Day hot ticket items were amongst the delivery orders received by Cainiao, the logistics affiliate of Alibaba Group. At 12:05 PM, the number of orders surpassed last year’s 278 million orders. Cainiao received 310 million delivery orders by 2:00 PM
The morning led in sales volume for both JD.com, and Alibaba. JD.com ran a promotion leading up to the November 11 Singles Day; by 6:26 PM, JD.com received more orders than for the previous five days combined. At 9:00 PM Alibaba exceeded RMB 80 billion (approximately $12.58 billion USD).
4. The Final Countdown
At 12:00 AM, time was up and so were profits. Alibaba ended Singles Day with RMB 91.21 billion (approximately $14.34 billion USD). Alibaba saw a 60% year-over-year increase and JD.com had an increase of 130% during the 24-hour event.
5. Digital Devices
The digital discount day of the year revealed that e-shoppers favored their wireless devices. About 74% of JD.com customers placed their orders via mobile platform during the day. At the peak, Alibaba had 45 million users shopping online at the same time; at 2:00 PM, the total number of mobile buyers was more than 70 million. The total number of mobile buyers on Tmall.com and Taobao Marketplace was 95 million.
6. Payment Contenders
- More than 52% of first-time customers during the day came from WeChat and Mobile QQ.
- The number of customers who used Baitiao, JD Finance’s consumer credit line program, increased 800% from last year’s one-day total.
- Total GMV settled through Alipay was $14.3 billion USD (RMB 91.2 billion).
- Total mobile GMV settled through Alipay was approximately $9.8 billion USD (RMB 62.6 billion).
- Alipay processed a total of 710 million payment transactions, and processed 85,900 transactions per second at peak.
-AliCloud processed a total of 140,000 transactions per second at peak.
7. Standout Segments
Home decor, apparel and footwear were JD.com's strongest segments and saw the most orders out of any product category.
8. Best Sellers
- Sold more than 14 million articles of clothing and pairs of shoes. Sales of wearable smart devices increased by 900% compared to last year's sale.
- Orders on JD Supermarket increased 190% year-over-year, including an increase for fresh food sales of 560% and snack foods of 430%.
- The top five product categories purchased using Baitiao credit lines were computers, luxury products, TVs, mobile phones and cameras.
JD Worldwide: JD.com’s platform for imported goods
- Saw an increase in sales orders of 366% compared with its October average.
- Top-selling products on the platform for the day were milk powder and diapers. Products from the US Mall and Japan Mall, both launched in 2015, proved most popular for shoppers on the company’s growing list of country-specific foreign mall platforms.
The week preceding event day, Alibaba identified the following key product categories expected to gain the attention of shoppers. Products included baby and maternity, fashion and apparel, cosmetics, electronics and home appliances, health and nutrition, grocery, and fresh foods.
9. Brazen Brands
Apple, Samsung, Adidas, New Balance, Columbia, The North Face, Philips, Nestle, Mead Johnson and Wyeth were some of JD.com’s top sellers.
Alibaba’s participating international brands included:
- Men’s apparel: Uniqlo (Japan), Jack Jones (Denmark), Peacebird (China), Mark Fairwhale (China), Semir (China）
- Mobile - Enabling Technologies phones: Xiaomi (China), Huawei (China), Meizu (China), Apple (US), QIku (China)
- Beauty products: Pechoin (China), Kans (China), Chcedo (China), Lancome (France), L’Oréal (France)
- Women’s & children’s products: Balabala (China), Yashili (China), Purcotton (China), Gap (US), Uniqlo (Japan)
- Sports products: Nike (US), Adidas (Germany), New balance (US), Li-Ning (China), Toread (China)
- Automobiles: Cadillac (US), Audi (Germany), Buick (US), Kia (Korea), Peugeot (France)
10. Made in China
The Alibaba Group started the November 11 Singles Day shopping event in 2009. The event was originally meant to target the China market. The shopping day has since proved to be widely successful. E-commerce organizations around the globe have recognized the growth opportunity in the day and have joined in the celebration of singletons.
11. Out of Office Response
“This day demonstrates the power of domestic China consumption, and the Chinese consumer’s strong demand for international products,” said Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang in a statement. “It also showcases how Alibaba uses big data, cloud computing and mobile innovations to create the best shopping experience for buyers and sellers.”
“Our record-breaking sales and accelerated growth for the day show that what truly matters to Chinese consumers is the quality, reliability and authenticity that only JD.com guarantees,” said Haoyu Shen, CEO of JD Mall. “Across all product categories, from electronics to apparel to fresh food, we have seen tremendous growth because our customers trust JD.com to provide the highest product quality, most efficient service and fastest delivery. On mobile, our partnership with Tencent puts JD.com in front of more than half a billion WeChat and Mobile QQ users, a tremendous industry advantage that enabled us to reach and win over new customers during the sale.”
Alizila, Alibaba’s Shopping Festival Rakes In $14.3 Billion (November 11, 2015); Global Brands Lead Alibaba’s Singles Day Sales (November 13, 2015)
Alibaba Group, Press Release: Alibaba Group Generated USD5 Billion in GMV in First 90 Minutes of 2015 11.11 Global Shopping Festival; Alibaba Group Exceeds 2014 11.11 Total GMV, Generating USD10 Billion within 14 Hours on 2015 11.11 Global Shopping Festival (November 11, 2015)
JD.com, Press Release: JD.com Announces Singles Day Orders Up 130%, Driven by Record Mobile Transactions