Singles day is the largest sales event of the year for retail giant
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. The one day shopping blitz is celebrated mostly within China but has spread internationally in recent years, developing into a phenomenal opportunity for retailers world-wide.
Singles day is annually celebrated on Nov 11th. To commence this year’s celebrations, Alibaba threw a spectacular function leading up to midnight on Nov 10th. Special guests included Scarlet Johansson, Kobe Bryant & David Beckham. There was a last-minute cancellation by Katy Perry who is the ambassador for the company and was scheduled to perform at the event.
As midday marked the half-way point of the shopping extravaganza, the company reported hitting a record breaking $11.9 billion in sales of which $1 billion was made within the first five minutes.
Analysts have predicted total sales of close to $20 billion, a huge increase from 2015 when Alibaba racked in $14.3 billion over the course of the day. This annual event, invented by university students in 2009 as a counter to Valentine’s day, is being executed on such a large scale that it makes Black Friday look miniscule.
“Alibaba will likely break another Singles’ Day sales record this year as bargain-seeking Chinese consumers again flex their spending muscle and shrug off any concerns there may be about China’s slowing economy,” said Andria Cheng, an eMarketer analyst. “Many foreign brands, with and without local China presence, will use this shopping event to further raise their brand profile with Chinese consumers.”
J. Michael Evans, Alibaba’s president, has plans to expand the festival overseas, targeting the U.S and U.K. According to information from eMarketer,e-commerce is expected to expand 24% to $1.91 trillion in transactions this year alone. China alone is expected to be responsible for a 36% increase to $899 billion.
"We're seeing an even bigger shift from offline shopping to online shopping," Kitty Fok, managing director of IDC China told the BBC."And there is also more of a focus on rural areas. People in the villages who could not do online shopping now have mobile phones and so can do that."
Despite recent growth, Thursday saw Alibaba’s U.S shares fall by 4.6%, following a 3.2% slide that was caused by uncertainty around the presidential election. Stock traders at Forex brokerage firms such as GSI Markets are trading their shares accordingly using MT4 trading platforms.
Alibaba stock price is currently sitting at $94.34, after hitting an afterhours low of $94.22. This expected to remain stable over the course of the day. Shareholders are warned to remain calm during this time as it is standard for stock prices to waver during such circumstances. Analysts recommend to keep tracking the situation through trading accounts and trading platforms such as MT4.