To put those sales figures into perspective, Singles Day has surpassed the transaction volume for America’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday events combined, according to Fung Global Retail & Technology.
The day also far outpaces Amazon’s Prime Day, which is the most equivalent 24-hour, online shopping experience in the U.S.
Held every Nov. 11, Alibaba’s Singles Day started as a day for those individuals not in romantic relationships to celebrate themselves by shopping online. The 24-hour phenomenon has quickly become the world’s largest shopping day of the year.
In 2017, Singles Day is expected to break more records, as more than 60,000 global brands are set to participate.
Names like Lululemon, Adidas, Bose, Gap, Mac Cosmetics, Nike, Procter & Gamble, Macy’s and Zara all have a presence on Alibaba’s Tmall platform, which continues to grow. Tmall is essentially Alibaba’s online version of a shopping mall. Alibaba is also in the midst of constructing its first physical mall, right next to its corporate headquarters in eastern China.
This year, apparel is the most sought-after Singles Day category, followed by household supplies and footwear, according to a survey by Fung Global. And just like shoppers get a jump-start on some Black Friday bargains in the U.S., roughly two-thirds of Fung Global’s survey respondents indicate they will start shopping for Singles Day prior to Nov. 11.
“The extension of the Singles’ Day event is similar to what has been happening in the US, where the influence of one-day shopping holidays is diminishing as retailers adopt a season-long approach to marketing and promotions,” FGRT Managing Director Deborah Weinswig wrote.
Estee Lauder’s makeup brand Mac, for example, has partnered with Alibaba to open a temporary storefront where customers can experience an augmented reality lipstick trial. There, Mac will also be promoting its deals for Singles Day, encouraging shoppers to visit Tmall.com on Saturday.
In total, Alibaba’s 2017 Singles Day is promising 15 million product listings from more than 140,000 different brands. (Source: CNBC)