It was another record-breaking day for retail as Chinese ecommerce platform Alibaba rang up 268.4 billion yuan ($38.4 billion) during Singles Day 2019.
This was the 11th so-called 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, and consumers once again demonstrated that the 24-hour sale, which started out as a means to sell coats in 2009, is an ecommerce phenomenon like no other.
Singles Day officially ended at midnight China Standard Time, or 11 a.m. ET, up 25% from the previous year.
At about 4:30 p.m. local time, Alibaba announced that the total gross merchandise volume for 2019 had surpassed the previous Singles Day, when shoppers spent 213.5 billion yuan ($30.8 billion).
Once again, Alibaba boasted many impressive stats:
- It took just 1 minute and 8 seconds to sell $1 billion, which shaves a cool 17 seconds off the equivalent in 2018.
- About 28 minutes later, Alibaba announced it had crossed $10 billion in sales.
- As it closed out the first hour, Alibaba said it had grossed $12 billion.
- The number of delivery orders surpassed 1.042 billion at 6:31 p.m., which means a new record for deliveries in 2019 as well.
Even on the biggest shopping days of the year for Americans, the U.S. doesn’t come close: Consumers spent $6.2 billion online on Black Friday 2018 and $7.9 billion on Cyber Monday.
This year, Adobe predicts U.S. shoppers will spend $7.5 billion on Black Friday and $9.4 billion on Cyber Monday.
The closest domestic equivalent, Amazon Prime Day, stretched to 48 hours this year. Amazon called it the “largest shopping event in Amazon history,” with more than 1 million orders totaling 175 million items, but did not share overall figures. The two-day sale “surpassed the previous Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined,” according to the ecommerce platform.
Lisa Lacy is a reporter for Adweek’s brand desk, where she focuses on retail and the growing reach of Amazon. She has covered marketing and technology for more than a decade for publications like TechCrunch, CMO.com, VentureBeat, the Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones Newswires, ClickZ, Search Engine Watch and Search Engine Journal. She has a master's in journalism from Columbia University and a bachelor's in English from the University of Sussex in Brighton, England.