China's Singles' Day sales on course for new record

Alibaba went with bright orange for its brand's color scheme—clearly it’s not afraid of risk Francis Scialabba

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Inc said on Monday that sales for its annual Singles' Day shopping blitz hit 91.2 billion yuan ($13 billion) within the first hour, up 32% from last year's early haul of 69 billion yuan.

Alibaba's double 11 shopping festival's sales have been growing at a fast pace since it was born.

Singles' Day is the world's biggest shopping day - and Alibaba is posting massive sales.

Alibaba saw sales worth $30 billion on its platforms on Singles' Day a year ago, dwarfing $7.9 billion USA online sales for Cyber Monday. It is now considered a significant event in the global retail calendar.

The company also said that sales figures are likely to see huge growth from last year's figures of $30 billion.

Alibaba anticipates 500 million shoppers will take part in the 11.11 event this year, up from about 100 million recorded last year.

But despite the shopping festival's commercial success for local retailers, 73 per cent of New Zealanders have not heard of Singles' Day, according to price and product comparison site PriceSpy. The 11:11 Global Shopping Festival sees more spending with a 24-hour period than all sales recorded during the US holiday shopping season's kickoff from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday. In November and December it delivered a total of 14.5 million parcels. NZ Post completes well over half of these deliveries with more than 78 million parcels delivered past year.

About 1.8 million Kiwis shopped online past year, spending a total of $4.2 billion, with a significant portion of this spending requiring items to be delivered.

That said, U.S. -China trade tensions could ding American brands taking part this year, concludes another study by global consultancy AlixPartners. The star-studded gala, which was held at Shanghai's Mercedes-Benz Arena and livestreamed on Youku, officially kicked off China's largest online shopping festival.

NZ Post is keeping an eye on the spending trends this online shopping season and will be reporting back to New Zealand on whether Kiwis are spending as much as we predict in the 2020 Full Download report.