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Singles Day Sees Record Sales, Driven by Mobile Commerce

Mobile Commerce Insider Featured Article

November 11, 2014

Singles Day Sees Record Sales, Driven by Mobile Commerce

By Stefania Viscusi
Assignment Desk Editor

As the Thanksgiving holiday nears here in the States, you’ve probably started to notice the influx of special Black Friday (News - Alert) and Cyber Monday advertisements being pushed around. These days have traditionally become important revenue for retailers and a chance for shoppers to head out and get items at extreme discount for the gift-giving season.

While Black Friday has now grown to take over even table and turkey -time (many retailers in the U.S. have announced opening their doors as early as 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day), one positive outcome has been the impact these shopping days will have on the mobile commerce space. Numerous studies are predicting this will be a year of giant sales, and one that utilizes mobile devices more than ever before.

In China, this same giant retail holiday is happening today, Nov. 11, and is a one-day e-commerce holiday targeted at singles. Yes, you read that right. The idea behind the holiday reportedly began years ago as a day for people without a partner to “treat themselves” to discounted items it then grew to an online shopping day that also gave a nod to the numerical date 11/11.

It has transformed over the years and grown in popularity to among shoppers in China, and across the World. The shining star of the event is online shopping giant Alibaba, which sees record setting sales each year—five years in a row now.

A report from International Business Times says revenues beat the predicted 50 billion Yuan that was estimated would result from this year’s holiday and soared to 57.1 billion Yuan - which equals about $9.3 billion. This amount is significant because it also exceeds sales in the U.S. for equivalent Cyber Monday (News - Alert) and Black Friday events.

Just as the U.S. market is predicting with our upcoming shopping events, mobile devices were of key importance. More mobile users in China are downloading payment apps and, according to a report on the company’s related news site Alizlia, this year, nearly half of the $1 billion worth of goods sold on the e-commerce platform were purchased via a mobile device.

Chairman Jack Ma is listening – the company’s focus is on ensuring the platform is optimized to meet mobile needs on a global basis.  Talks with Apple and PayPal (News - Alert) have been speculated and The Wall Street Journal is even reporting partnerships with operators of smartphone messaging apps are possible in the near future.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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