Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has logged a new sales record for Singles Day, the world’s largest 24-hour shopping event that took place yesterday.
According to the company, gross merchandise value, which records sales across Alibaba shopping platforms, surpassed last year’s record after only 16 1/2 hours into the 24-hour event, before posting a final tally of 268.4 billion yuan ($38.4 billion) by the end of the day.
This year’s Singles Day, the 11th annual, marked a 26% rise – though it is down from the growth rate of 27% seen on last year’s Singles Day when it exceeded the spending on any single U.S. shopping holiday such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
In an effort to boost sales this year, Alibaba offered more discounted items while additionally placing greater emphasis on livestreaming to sell goods. The event included appearances by famous online personalities such as Kim Kardashian who did a livestream pitch for her fragrance brand KKW on Alibaba-owned Tmall.
Analysts noted that the event was a huge success despite an economic slowdown.
“Singles Day is being held up as a bellwether of Chinese consumers’ willingness to spend in the face of a domestic slowdown” wrote Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst for Asia Pacific at Oanda, in a note on Monday, adding that “deeply discounting prices always brings consumers out to play, no matter how bad the economy might be.”
Estée Lauder , the 5G version of Huawei’s Mate 30 Pro smartphone, Apple’s iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max were among some of the top-selling items on the day.
Alibaba said that Estée Lauder took in a record 1 billion yuan ($143 million) in pre-orders, on Sunday, while users also pre-ordered 100 million yuan ($14 million) worth of Apple (AAPL) iPhone 11s.
“We continue to feel very confident about the growth potential of the economy,” Alibaba chief marketing officer Chris Tung told CNN in an interview. “We are pushing deeper towards the less developed areas of China, to reach more new online shoppers, so there’s a huge untapped opportunity there.”
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