Tag Archives: Alibaba

Singles’ Day 2017 Will Set New Records

10 Nov

If you live in the U.S. (and many other places), you may be unaware of Singles’ Day. This annual event, from China’s Alibaba, falls on November 11 each year (11.11). Singles’ Day 2017 will set new records.

Before we examine expectations for 11.11.2017, let’s describe what Singles’ Day is.

 

The Phenomenon of Singles’ Day

Due to its immense success, we discussed Singles’ Day evolution in 2015 and 2016. For easy reading, we meld content from these two posts in this section.   2016 China-Based Singles’ Day to Dominate Global Holiday Season.   China-Based Singles’ Day Dwarfs Cyber Monday Sales (2015).

These are highlights from the posts:

Each year, Alibaba runs a Singles’ Day on November 11 targeted at final consumers. As The Street reported. “It is the biggest annual retail event. It beats Cyber Monday and Black Friday.”

What is Singles’ Day? According to the Telegraph, it started in the 1990s. “It was as an ‘anti-Valentine’s’ fete for Chinese single people. Students at Nanjing University celebrated their singledom. But it has spawned into the world’s biggest online shopping day. We can write November 11 as 11.11, or one-one-one-one.  Alibaba (China’s Amazon equivalent) chiefs spotted the commercial opportunity in 2009. And it launched ‘Double 11’ deals just as online shopping started exploding. It was also a chance to boost sales in the lull between China’s Golden Week holiday in October and the Christmas season. When sales almost quadrupled the following year, Alibaba trademarked Singles’ Day. Some featured sales center around singledom, such as boyfriend pillows and single travel tickets. But now, the day is an all-inclusive shopping holiday.”

Knowledge@Wharton noted: “In just one day — November 11 — Alibaba Group generates many times the volume of Cyber Monday. Beyond offering consumers steep discounts, Alibaba 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.”

 

Singles’ Day 2017 Will Set New Records

So, what do experts say about Singles’ Day 2017?

Read eMarketer’s take:

Alibaba “reported that it recorded sales totaling about $18 billion during the 24-hour event in 2016. For some context, consider that Black Friday online sales in the U.S. totaled $2.74 billion the same year — about one-sixth of the sales from Singles’ Day. Global consulting firm Oliver Wyman expects Alibaba to outdo itself again this year, projecting that sales on its E-commerce platforms will total $23 billion, a growth rate of 26% over 2016.”

However, “there are signs that consumers may be experiencing some festival fatigue. According to a recent AdMaster survey, 64% of digital buyers in China said they plan to make a purchase during the festival, down from 71% in 2016, and 84% in 2015. Yet, the potential for waning interest in Singles’ Day hasn’t deterred Alibaba from doubling down on the event. This year, the company began its marketing offensive in October, announcing that some 140,000 brands had been recruited to participate in the festival, which Alibaba is also attempting to rebrand as the ‘11.11 Global Shopping Festival’ lasting three weeks.”

“Including ‘global’ is particularly interesting, since Alibaba makes no secret of the fact that it hopes to entice shoppers in Europe — and even the U.S. — to take advantage of sales deals. Alibaba reports that consumers in some 200 countries participated in Singles’ Day last year.”

 

Click the image to visit Alibaba’s 11.11 Web page.

Singles' Day 2017 Will Set New Records. Alibaba 11.11.2017.
 

2016 China-Based Singles’ Day to Dominate Global Holiday Season

14 Nov

Last year, we wrote about the phenomenally successful 2015 online Chinese Singles’ Day, an annual event scheduled for November 11 that dwarfs Cyber Monday, which occurs on the first Monday after Thanksgiving each year. As reported by The Street: “Singles’ Day is the biggest retail event in the year, beating Cyber Monday and Black Friday.”

What is Single’s Day? As recently described by Lauren Davidson, Emily Allen, and  Ashley Armstrong for the Telegraph:

“Singles Day started as an obscure ‘anti-Valentine’s’ celebration for single people in China back in the 1990s, but it has spawned into the world’s biggest online shopping day. Astute readers will notice that November 11 is written 11.11, or one-one-one-one. Known in China as ‘bare sticks holiday’ because of how it looks numerically, Singles Day began as an anti-Valentine’s Day in the 1990s when students at Nanjing University started celebrating their singledom. It was then adopted by E-commerce giant Alibaba (China’s Amazon equivalent) in 2009; and it is now a day when everyone, regardless of their single status buys themselves gifts.”

“Alibaba chiefs spotted the commercial opportunity in Singles Day back in 2009 and began launching ‘Double 11’ deals just as online shopping was starting to explode. It was also seen as a chance to boost sales in the lull between China’s Golden Week national holiday in October and the Christmas season. When sales almost quadrupled the following year, Alibaba trademarked Singles’ Day. Some of the featured sales center around singledom, such as boyfriend pillows and single travel tickets, but the day has now widened to an all-inclusive shopping holiday.”

Angela Doland, writing for Advertising Age about the 2016 Singles’ Day, notes that:

“Alibaba’s annual online shopping festival started with just 27 merchants taking part. It has grown into the world’s biggest shopping day, and has just smashed its own record, with sellers on its platforms logging nearly $17.8 billion in transactions in 24 hours. Over 11,000 foreign brands joined in [from more than 25 countries], including first-timers Apple, Sephora, Target, Victoria’s Secret, and Maserati.”

“The Chinese Internet giant has created a whole entertainment offering around its shopfest, including a 4-hour live-streamed variety show that drew stars like Scarlett Johansson, Kobe Bryant, and David and Victoria Beckham. That’s a surprising departure from its small-scale start in 2009, when Alibaba latched on to the fact that some Chinese college students were celebrating Nov. 11 as a day for singles, an anti-Valentine’s day. Other E-commerce firms have joined in, including Alibaba’s chief rival JD.com, and much of China shops on Nov. 11. It’s not just for singles anymore.”

How well did the 2016 Single’s Day just do? It has crushed last year’s revenues — going from $14.3 billion in 2015 to $17.8 billion in 2016. Here are a sales curve (reported by BBC News) since online giant Alibaba first embraced Single’s Day in 2009 and a 2016 video from CCTV News.
 
singles-day_-alibaba-breaks-record-sales-total-bbc-news
 

 

Ma and Chenault: An Interview with 7 Major Points

18 Jul

Jack Ma, who started life with very little, is now one of the richest people in the world. He is the  founder and executive chairman of retail behemoth Alibaba Group, which generates hundreds of billions of dollars each year.

In an interview with Kenneth Chenault,  chairman and chief executive officer of American Express, Ma enumerated seven key points. These points are valuable to those at any point in their careers:

  1. Rejection comes with benefits. “When Ma graduated university, he applied to 30 different large companies — and no one would hire him.  So, he started a translation agency, earning $50 his first month. Years later, in 1999, he gathered 17 investors in his apartment, explaining to them his vision to use the Internet to help small-business owners sell. With $50,000, they started Alibaba.”
  2. Get your business global. “Innovative products and services bring those small and medium-size companies to China. I would say China, in the next 20 years, will become the largest importer country in the world because China’s resources can never support such huge demand.”
  3. Don’t wait to innovate. Ma said: “Repair the roof while there is still sunshine. “When the company is good, change the company. When the company is in trouble, be careful. Don’t move. Just like if the storm comes, don’t go up and repair the roof.”
  4. Learn from the failures of others. “For Ma, it’s the mistakes that business owners should really learn from. ‘A lot of people fail for the same reason. If you know why people fail and you learn [from] that, you can make a correction.'”
  5. Be passionate. “If you’re just in the business for money, you’re going about it wrong. Ma and Chenault both emphasized the need for passion in what you do, and agreed that that fervor is a hallmark of successful small-business owners.”
  6. Customers come first. Ma said: “The ones supporting you are not the shareholders. Not government. It’s the customers, the people, the employees. Focus on the customer. Focus on making employees happy. And focus on integrity to everything you’re committed. That is the only thing.”
  7. Help build strong leaders. “If a business is to continue after the owner has moved on, the younger generations must understand and embrace its vision and values. ‘Give them the chance to make mistakes. Listen to them. Respect them,’ said Ma.”

 
Click the AP Photography image to read more.
 

 

China-Based Singles’ Day Dwarfs Cyber Monday Sales

4 Dec

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.”

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