Daily Digital Pulse Of China: Eleven Eleven So Far...

China Digital

A Big Start For Alibaba

China’s annual shopping bonanza 11.11 has started with a bang. The country’s top e-commerce company Alibaba is watching its sales in real time, keeping the world updated with regular sales figures. Tmall, Alibaba’s open marketplace saw $177 million spent in the first six minutes, jumping to $266 million (RMB 1.64 billion) after 10 minutes, nearly $500 million (RMB 3.021 billion) after 20 minutes and $1 billion after the first 50 minutes. The hour before midnight saw six million Alibaba customers placing online items in their virtual shopping baskets, eagerly awaiting the start of 11.11 when the discounts became active.

Source: Tech In Asia

China Digital

Singles Day an E-commerce miracle?

November 11th has become synonymous with online shopping. According to a recent study by AdMaster, on this day online shoppers are expected to spend an average of 1,800 yuan ($295) per person. The Double Eleven Shopping Festival is celebrated in the name of “Singles Day.” What begun as a celebration for single people has become China’s most popular annual online commercial event. Singles Day has evolved into a crazy 24-hour online shopping spree when Alibaba Group, operator of e-commerce platforms such as Taobao and Tmall, launched its first sales campaign on November 11, 2009. Singles Day sales figures for the Alibaba Group went from 50 million yuan in 2009 to an astounding 19.1 billion yuan in 2012 and is expected to top 30 billion this year.In 2012, China's e-commerce industry was worth 8.1 trillion yuan, with online shopping contributing 1.3 trillion yuan ($213 billion), according to the Ministry of Commerce. An e-commerce miracle? Seems so since even American retailers, such as Microsoft, Gap and Toys R Us are planning to participate this year to get a piece of the pie. Not only do consumers benefit but e-commerce shops as well as brands can too. Should they effectively tie in marketing and sales strategies they can enhance their sales conversion rate, as consumers on this day are more receptive to sales promotions.

Source: China Daily

China Digital

5 Things You Need To Know About 11/11: Singles Day In China

Learn about the Chinese holiday that began as an anti-Valentines Day celebration into an online phenomenon 11/11 is Singles' Day in China, the holiday which encourages the unmarried to socialize and celebrate with single friends. But over time it has gone from anti-celebratory holiday into one of shopping and sales. If you’re an expat and have no clue what 11/11 is here are five things you need to know about the day and its history:

1. It started out as a joke on a college campus In the 1990s single Chinese college students at Nanjing University protested Valentine’s Day by coming up with a day to celebrate not having a romantic partner.

2. It's also called Bachelors' Day When the holiday first began young men who didn’t have a romantic partner mostly celebrated it. Today all 180 million singletons from both sexes celebrate the holiday but it seems both the media and retailers mainly focus on the single men.

3. Why 11/11? The holiday is held every year on November 11 because the date consists of four singles: 11/11. The holiday is known in Chinese as "Guanggun Jie," which refers to "bare sticks" — slang for bachelors.

4. It's the biggest online shopping day of the year Since gift-giving became one of the faux-holiday's traditions, retailers started offering sales and Singles Day turned into a major shopping event. According to Business Insider, last year's sales on Singles' Day for the Alibaba Group, China's biggest e-retailer, totaled more than $3.1 billion, which doubles the amount spent by U.S. consumers on Cyber Monday in 2012.

5. Let's party This fun holiday has already created some traditions: Ms. Independent; Single and ready to mingle parties; Breakfast for one, please; See ya, singlehood.

Whether you’re in the mood to stay single, find a significant other or just some plain old shopping. One thing is for sure, this holiday in the past couple of years has become a runaway hit.

Source: Your Tango

China Digital

Day’s not over and Chinese E-shoppers obliterate Cyber Monday

A full 24 hours haven’t gone by since China’s online shopfest started and Chinese e-shoppers have already surpassed America’s Cyber Monday. US netizens for last year’s Cyber Monday spent an approximate $1.46 billion in one day. .Alibaba’s Tmall website alone has already soared past that number at 2am this morning and has even gone as far as smashing its own 24-hour record today at just 9am. By 12pm this afternoon Tmall’s sales have already gone up to $2.86 billion (RMB 17.5 billion) on the online marketplace. This figure only accounts customers using Alibaba’s online payment service; total sales revenue will be accounted by the company at day’s end. Many may think that this e-commerce explosion is due to China’s 1.3 billion population but its worth noting that this online spending is mostly done by a third of the population.

Source: Tech In Asia

China Digital

Western brands want in on China’s Singles Day

Singles Day in China has evolved into the largest e-commerce shopping event in the country with Western brands eager to cash in. November 11th of last year was so big in online transactions that banks were overloaded with traffic. E-commerce giant Alibaba recorded an outstanding $3 billion in sales- doubling that of the US’ Cyber Monday. Alibaba started the online sales campaign almost 5 years ago to liven up a slow shopping period between October's National Day and Chinese New Year in January or February. It chose 11/11 because the date was easy to remember. Initially a total of 27 brands participated in the online event and today there is close to 20,000 brands, including western brands, that want to cash in on some of the profits. Given that only 44% of the population is accounted to be online this quirky holiday has the potential to keep on growing. Alibaba’s Tmall and Taobao are considered 11/11’s biggest players. Brands like the Gap, Adidas, Toys’r’Us, and Clarins (the French luxury skin-care brand) to name a few have joined the Tmall platform to promote coupons, discounts, and free gifts. The holiday has even caught the attention of tech giant Microsoft, this year will be the first time Microsoft participates. Although consumer electronics are not typically considered big sellers on 11/11, the holiday mostly focuses on apparel and lifestyle products; the senior director for Microsoft’s online stores believes the trend will grow. The 2012 event was so big that it brought more than few hiccups. Some problems included payment system failures at some bank branches, shortages of warehouse space as well as personnel. Alibaba went as far as increasing it network bandwith to 5 terabytes to allow traffic to flow smoothly.

Source: Ad Age

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