For perspective, there were only 27 participating Chinese merchants when Singles Day was launched by Alibaba in 2009.
To that end, Alibaba teams fanned out across the nation before the event to help outlets - some 600,000 mom-and-pop convenient stores and about 1,000 brands - upgrade their computer systems. The company partnered with 1,000 brands, including L'Oréal, Mondelēz, Nestlé and Procter & Gamble to set up 100,000 smart stores in 31 cities in China.
While U.S. retailers are preparing for the usual discount sales around Thanksgiving, there was a huge shopping event over the weekend in China.
The shopping day also succeeds in bringing businesses of all sizes to the forefront through technology integration. While that's only half the growth rate previous year, the event still dwarfs others such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Consumer spending in China accounted for 40 percent of the GDP, compared with nearly 70 percent for the U.S. Reaching that level would translate to annual spending of 700 billion to 800 billion dollars, according to Tsai's projections.
"The festive atmosphere for Singles' Day is much stronger in Taiwan this year, as more e-commerce operators are joining the annual shopping festival and are stepping up marketing efforts", Momo.com president Lin Chi-feng (林啟峰) told a media gathering at the beginning of this month.
Ninety percent of transactions took place via the company's Alipay payment solution, up from 82 percent past year. For example, Alipay dealt with over a billion transactions and Cainao delivered 657 million packages in 24-hours on Singles Day.
In the United States, November 11th means Veterans Day.
The festival saw 60,000 of worldwide brands vying for Chinese sales, with Japan, the U.S., Australia, Germany and South Korea racking up the most transactions. As an example of US success, Nike ranked number five on the list of top-selling brands of all categories on Tmall for GMV, while Apple was the best-selling brand in the mobile phone category. JD shares are up 5% today, while Alibaba shares are up only 0.2%.
"More than $25 billion of (gross merchandise value) in one day is not just a sales figure", said Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba Group. The company outlined that it sold about 100 million yuan in televisions over a one-minute period and 500 million yuan in air conditioners over 30-minute duration. It was 39 per cent more than sales clocked a year ago on Alibaba's platforms of 120.7 billion yuan.
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