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Alibaba's Singles' Day is retail gold

Alibaba's Singles' Day is retail gold

E-commerce giant Alibaba on Saturday kicked off its ninth edition of the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, its annual sales event. "Breaking into this market has been made much more straightforward thanks to Chinese third-party platforms such as Alibaba's Tmall".

A year ago the shopping holiday drove $18 billion worth of retail sales for participating sellers, a pop-up luxury hub, Double 11 Musée, will appear online and in the Tmall app for high-end brands.

That blew well past the $17.8 billion logged over the full 24 hours last year, which itself marked a 32 percent year-on-year increase. "By 2020, China's e-commerce market is set to be larger than those of the US, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom and France combined", said Nick Landon, managing director of Royal Mail Parcels. Quirkier items meant to nail in on the joke about the nature of Singles' Day were heavily promoted, such as a one time payment of 11,111 yuans (roughly $1,672 USD) for a lifetime supply of baiju liquor.

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.

Shoppers around China and some 200 countries and regions scooped up discounted lobster, iPhones and refrigerators at a rate of as many as 256,000 transactions per second.

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First introduced in 2009, the 11.11 shopping festival, featuring a 24-hour online shopping promotion on Alibaba's major platforms, has fast-grown into a landmark celebration on a global scale.

The two largest economies of the world have already witnesses robust e-commerce growth over the past decade, and Alibaba's success on Singles Day highlights the very long growth runway that the industry still enjoys.

Alibaba's rivals, such as JD.com Inc (京東商城), and a range of retailers have joined in, with merchants slashing prices to move goods.

"Using past growth figures, Hylink have predicted that Singles' Day is expected to generate over US$21 billion in sales this year".