Alibaba Singles’ Day sets new record with 31 billion in sales

Alibaba Singles' Day sets new record with 31 billion in sales

Alibaba broke records again with its tenth annual Singles’ Day shopping festival on November 11. This year’s revenue reached an unbelievable $30.8 billion US dollars, up 27% from last year. That makes it the world’s biggest shopping day yet again.

Singles' Day History
Year Total Sales Total Mobile Sales
2012 3.1 Billion 155 Million (5% sales share)
2013 5.8 Billion 1.22 Billion (21% sales share)
2014 9.3 Billion 3.96 Billion (43% sales share)
2015 14.3 Billion 9.8 Billion (69% sales share)
2016 17.79 Billion 14.6 Billion (82% sales share)
2017 25.3 Billion 22.77 Billion (90% sales share)
2018 30.8 Billion not reported\*

Source: Alizila 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012

We couldn’t find any stats for mobile sales share this year, but based on the trend, it’s either hovering around 90% or higher. Perhaps it’s just the norm now. For western countries, there’s quite a big gap. According to Adobe, sales share from mobile devices during the holiday season is 40%, but it’s not to say that this trend isn’t growing, however slowly.

Just how big is Singles’ Day? Last year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales were a combined $11.64 billion US dollars. That’s nearly triple the amount. Even Amazon Prime Day, it’s closest western counterpart, had an estimated $4.2 billion US dollar day this year.

It’s also worth noting that 40% of shoppers made purchases from international brands. Australia, for example, was one of the top 4 countries outside of China that made the most sales.

Biometric Payments

But here’s where it gets really interesting: 60.3% of shoppers used a biometric payment method to purchase products. They either paid by scanning their fingerprints or by taking a selfie, something we probably didn’t think would happen in our lifetime. It’s a bit frightening, and the technology seems like it came out of a Mission Impossible movie.

Customer Support via Chatbots

Not all merchants can handle the sheer volume of customer interactions during Singles’ Day, so in came Alibaba’s chatbot, Alime Shop Assistant, to help.

Launched last March, merchants use it to help handle repetitive questions, freeing up time for employees to resolve more important tasks. For example, it helped L’Oreal Paris resolve over 63% of their enquiries earlier this year, and all on its own.

Chatbots will become more prevalent and seamless. Keep an eye out for Chatbots that use SMS, MMS, or in the future, RCS, to automate and improve customer interactions.