Yesterday, Alibaba’s busiest shopping event of the year, “11.11,” – formerly knowns as Singles’ Day – made history in both revenues and order volume as the biggest shopping event of all time, according to tallies by its logistics network, Cainiao.
The promotion raked in US$30.8 billion in gross merchandise volume (GMV) – a 27 percent increase from last year – and surpassed 1 billion orders for the first time during the 24-hour period, Cainiao said.
While the event has ballooned in popularity since its conception 10 years ago, growth figures are now beginning to calm, if you compare this year’s 27 percent, year-over-year, increase to the massive 39 percent increase in 2017.
Chinese e-commerce consumers are accustomed to receiving orders placed on Alibaba’s platforms within one to three days, which extends to one or multiple weeks for orders placed on the Nov. 11 shopping event, due to the high order volume.
This year, the company invested in infrastructure and technology aimed at cutting down those longer delivery times. Cainiao expanded its capacity by increasing its bonded warehouse footprint by 80 percent and implemented automation, robotics and video-monitoring systems into warehouse operations. Prior to 11.11, it positioned 1,000 ocean containers full of goods and charted 51 flights to handle the influx of orders. The effects of these investments remain to be seen as consumers wait to receive their orders placed yesterday.
Alibaba’s digital platform, Taobao, connects consumers with more than 180,000 international brands from 230 different countries, some of the larger names including Apple, Dyson, Kindle, Estée Lauder, L’Oréal, Nestlé, Gap, Nike and Adidas.