Latest in Gear

Image credit: STR/AFP/Getty Images

Internet giant Alibaba crushes one-day online shopping record

It's evidence of how big internet shopping has become.
1397 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

STR/AFP/Getty Images

If you needed evidence that internet shopping still has room to grow, you just got it. Chinese e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba has confirmed that its annual Singles' Day sales event racked up the equivalent of more than $25.3 billion in sales, easily setting a record for the most online purchases in one day. For context, Alibaba sold just short of $18 billion last year -- this year, the company surpassed that figure slightly past the halfway mark. The 2016 Cyber Monday sale was downright tiny by comparison, mustering 'just' $3.45 billion in the US.

The record was helped by the strength of the Chinese yuan versus the US dollar, but it also stemmed from growing access to online shopping in China. Alibaba's Joseph Tsai attributed the surge to "rising disposable incomes" among the over 300 million middle-class buyers in the country. Imagine if the vast majority of the US population saw a dramatic boost in its spending power and you'll get a sense for how Alibaba could manage this feat.

The hype swirling around the event certainly helped as well. Alibaba started Singles' Day as a promo for lonely hearts, but it quickly grew into an all-encompassing sales event that makes Black Friday seem timid. This year, Alibaba held a launch event with western stars like Nicole Kidman and Pharrell Williams joining Chinese celebrities like actress Zhang Ziyi. It wanted buyers to get excited about spending money, and this clearly paid off.

Alibaba and its rivals can't rest easily. There are concerns that online shopping may soon hit a wall, and Alibaba even turned 100,000 retail stores into internet purchasing hubs in a bid to attract shoppers who might have ignored the online blitz. That still leaves potential for significant growth as China's middle class grows, though, and those that are already entrenched in the middle class may spend more online as they become comfortable with shopping from home.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
1397 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Master & Dynamic's MW07 Plus are much-improved true wireless earbuds

Master & Dynamic's MW07 Plus are much-improved true wireless earbuds

View
Master & Dynamic's MW07 Go is a $199 AirPod alternative

Master & Dynamic's MW07 Go is a $199 AirPod alternative

View
California's statewide earthquake alert system launches Thursday

California's statewide earthquake alert system launches Thursday

View
Skydio's station lets self-flying drones work around the clock

Skydio's station lets self-flying drones work around the clock

View
‘Harry Potter: Wizards Unite’ gathered location data while users slept

‘Harry Potter: Wizards Unite’ gathered location data while users slept

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr