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Malaysians gear up for Alibaba's Singles Day shopping frenzy

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As per the company, over 140,000 brands are participating in this year's 11.11, offering promotions for more than 15 million product listings. "This is a huge increase from last year's figures which saw a collective spend of US$17.8 billion in 24 hours - more than the annual e-commerce sales of Brazil", James Hebbert, UK Managing Director from Hylink, a digital advertising agency, told the South China Morning Post.

For this year's festival, Alibaba has employed a "new retail" strategy to bring together the online and offline shopping experiences.

China's smartphone-wielding masses unleashed billions of dollars in e-commerce spending Saturday as they rushed to snap up bargains on "Singles Day".

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Also known as "Double 11" for the November 11 date, the event launched in 2009 by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (November里巴巴) started at midnight and ended up shattering the last year's sales mark, as it does every year.

Alibaba has racked up $25.3 billion in sales on Singles Day, China's biggest online shopping day, so far, with close to $7 billion in sales made in the first 30 minutes.

Five minutes after midnight, Alipay was processing 256,000 payment transactions per second, doubling last year's high-water mark, Alibaba said.

More than 90 percent of Alipay orders were placed via mobile, the majority on Alibaba's main e-commerce platform Taobao.com. The day of shopping brings in more sales than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined in the US.

Double 11's transaction volume is pumped up by many Chinese holding off on purchases of everyday items like rice and toilet paper to take advantage of the price-slashing.

"In terms of scale, it just dwarfs any other event out there", said Mr Ben Cavender, Shanghai-based principal at China Market Research Group.

"China wants to evolve from an export and investment driven economy to a consumption driven economy", said Joseph C.Tsai, Executive Vice Chairman of the Alibaba Group. Greenpeace said Singles' Day deliveries a year ago created 130,000 tonnes of packaging waste - less than 10 per cent of which is recycled.