The world’s biggest shopping day lived up to the hype as e-commerce platform Alibaba set another retail record, selling $30.8 billion in gross merchandise volume — including $1 billion in the first minute and 25 seconds—on Singles Day 2018.
To put that into perspective, it’s nearly triple what U.S. consumers spent online in 2017 for Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined: Per Adobe, U.S. e-commerce saw $5 billion in sales on Black Friday and $6.6 billion on Cyber Monday 2017. Alibaba made nearly that much—$10 billion—in an hour and 48 seconds on Sunday. And it only took Alibaba an additional 14 hours, 48 minutes and 51 seconds to break its record of $25.3 billion from Singles Day 2017.
Additional data — including the number of orders — was not available. However, a post outlining the day’s highlights noted there were more than 1 billion delivery orders with 42 minutes left in the day.
In-store deals were available this year as well—including at home improvement and furniture chain Easyhome, which Alibaba video shows was the site of a somewhat-more-civilized-but-nevertheless-Black-Friday-like stampede when doors opened at 12:00:01. (Alibaba owns a stake in Easyhome.)
In addition, 500,000 items were available for pre-order on its B2C platform Tmall leading up to November 11. As a result:
- Buick sold 7000 cars;
- Land Rover sold 90 vehicles;
- Hotels including Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt and Intercontinental booked 350,000 nights;
- And New Balance sold more than 60,000 pairs of shoes.
And that’s before Singles Day even started.
Alibaba said 33 brands had RMB100 million ($14.4 million) in pre-sales, including Lancôme, Olay, Estée Lauder, SK-II, L’Oréal, Snow Show, Elizabeth Arden and Shiseido.
Overall, 237 brands reached the RMB100-million threshold. That also includes Apple, Dyson, Kindle, Nestlé, Gap, Nike and Adidas.
This year also marks the first year e-commerce company Lazada, which Alibaba bought in March, extended the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, as Singles Day is also known, to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam. However, it was not immediately clear what impact this had on overall sales.
Alibaba first embraced 11/11 as a means to sell winter coats in 2009. And while it may seem like Singles Day belongs to Alibaba, ecommerce platform JD.com—the second most trafficked website in China in terms of unique visits behind Alibaba, according to ComScore—saw $19.1 billion in Singles Day transactions in 2017. (Figures for 2018 were not yet available.) And local platforms like Suning, VIP.com, Vmall.com and Kaola.com also had 11/11 offers this year.