Malaysians gear up for Alibaba's Singles Day shopping frenzy

Anita Tucker
November 12, 2017

Alibaba hosts a large gala on the Friday before Singles Day.

Alibaba said gross merchandise volume (GMV) exceeded 10bn yuan (£1bn) in a little over three minutes and the total had reached 19.1bn yuan in under six minutes - more than the entire day's sales in 2012.

The e-commerce giant will show no signs of taking their foot of the pedal this year, courting more than 140,000 brands and 1 million merchants for this year's festival. Last year, sales on Alibaba's platforms totaled over 120.7 billion yuan, a record for the company. "This is a huge increase from last year's figures which saw a collective spend of US$17.8 billion in 24 hours - more than the annual e-commerce sales of Brazil", James Hebbert, UK Managing Director from Hylink, a digital advertising agency, told the South China Morning Post.

Alibaba's 11.11 has grown beyond an annual online shopping bonanza to become a key driving force in transforming the lifestyle of Chinese consumers today through modern technologies.

This loneliest of dates (one-one-one-one), which meant to resemble four solitary sticks, is when China celebrates its Singles' Day.

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Alibaba has also introduced Hema Stores, wherein consumers can walk into the offline store and scan each of the products present in the store through their mobile phones to know more information about it. Zhang Jingjing, a 30-year-old clerk for an engineering company, prepared for Singles Day by building a shopping list on Alibaba's retail platform Tmall and watching for when prices dip.

Analysts say Alibaba will take Singles' Day global as Chinese e-commerce growth rates are expected to slow in the years ahead. Alibaba's processors were handling nearly 260,000 transactions per second, according to Bloomberg.

Greenpeace said "Singles Day" deliveries past year resulted in 130,000 metric tons (143,000 short tons) of packaging waste in what it called a "disaster for the environment".

"It could end up dominating e-commerce in developing countries".

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