China’s online Alibaba is the leader in special events (see this post). As it notes: “Alibaba.com is the leading platform for global wholesale trade serving millions of buyers and suppliers around the world. Small businesses can sell their products to companies in other countries. Sellers are typically manufacturers and distributors based in China and other countries such as India, Pakistan, the U.S., and Thailand.
Each year, Alibaba runs a Singles’ Day on November 11 (that it created) targeted at final consumers. The revenues generated on Singles’ Day dwarf those on Cyber Monday. This year, Alibaba used Singles’ Day to “launch new initiatives in globalization, logistics, and mobile and omni-channel commerce to improve the shopping experience for buyers and sellers.”
Why does Alibaba do so well on Singles’ Day relative to Cyber Monday and U.S. online retailers? As reported by Knowledge@Wharton:
“In just one day — November 11 — Alibaba Group generated a massive $14.3 billion in gross sales for China’s major shopping event, Singles’ Day — a figure equivalent to seven times the volume Cyber Monday generated last year. As Cyber Monday is now here, U.S. online retailers and other E-commerce players are likely turning to Alibaba’s performance on Singles’ Day for lessons learned and takeaways.”
“But, as one expert noted, U.S. online retailers are likely to face some steep challenges in recreating aspects of Alibaba’s success, in which merchants across the board discounted items by 50% or more for Alibaba’s online shopping site Taobao Marketplace and also on its third-party shopping platform Tmall.com.“
“Beyond offering consumers steep discounts for Singles’ Day, Alibaba also instituted an unusual strategy that U.S. retailers, in the end, may want to emulate for Cyber Monday, experts point out. The company unveiled a glitzy, star-studded TV show that aired on the eve of Singles’ Day to prompt viewers to snap up specials via their computer, tablet, smartphone or Internet-enabled TV or set-top box.”