Alibaba sees record breaking online shopping day

Consumers in China spent $5.78 billion during the 11.11 festival, also known as Singles' Day

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
November 11, 2013
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You know, Americans, and the United States in general, take a lot of crap for our focus on consumerism above all else. And yeah some of our products are pretty stupid. Like this. And this. And, sigh, this. (Please watch out on that last one, it is kind of NSFW). 

But, even though we buy some really dumb stuff sometimes, what really matter is how much we spend. And in that category the United States doesn't even come close to being number one. No, that distinction goes to that other country; you know, the one we all that money to.

China shopping giant Alibaba saw 35.19 billion yuan, the equivalent to $5.78 billion, in one day, according to a blog post from the company. That is a record for the biggest single day of sales in history.

Even more impressive is how quickly the company got to those sales. In just half a day, Alibaba had already seen over  $3.1 billion, which was last year's entire total. That is an increase of a whopping 87% year to year.

Roughly 171.4 million orders were placed on and Taobao Marketplace, Alibaba Group's e-commerce platforms, and 21% of them were for mobile devices. That is an increase of 5% from last year.

The number of unique visitors to the website also doubled to 402 million, while 20,000 merchants, like Gap and Uniqlo, offered discounts. 

Compare these number to the biggest shopping day ever in the United States, last year's Cyber Monday, where we spent a mere $1.46 billion. In fact, if you put last year's Black Friday and Cyber Monday together, we still only spent $2.5 billion, less than half of Alibaba's record setting day.

For shame, America. For shame. 

I should note that we will probably do a little better this year. A recent report out from Adobe predicted that this year online sales on Thanksgiving with $1.1 billion, an increase of 21% from last year. And Black Friday will see $1.6 billion, up 17% from last year. 

Shopping on Cyber Monday, meanwhile, will increase by 15% year year, for to a total of a $2.27 billion spent. 

By the way, in case you were wondering, here is some background on why so much money was spent today in China.

For the Chinese, November 11th is known as "Single's Day." It serves as almost an anti-Valentine's Day, in which bachelors get to, you know, celebrate being single.

And its on 11/11. Get it? All singles! It's kind of genius.

The day was apparently invented in the 90s by a bunch of college kids, and has since almost become the equivalent of our Cyber Monday. 

I'll be honest with you: I kind of love this idea. I haven't been single for a long time but I have many friends who would relish the chance to rub it in the faces of all the couples out there. All of thoe "I hate Valentine's Day" people would finally get their day to shine.

In fact, I'm really surprised that we didn't come up with this one first!

VatorNews has reached out to Alibaba for comment and we will update if we learn more. 

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