This year, China celebrates the 10th anniversary of the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, also known as Singles Day, or Double Eleven.
With the UK as the 6th most popular import region in the first hour, ACOLINK have broken down some of the key milestones that defined this year’s 24-hour shopping marathon while highlighting areas of focus for British exporters hoping to put their best foot forward in the world’s biggest e-commerce market.
The Tmall team (Alibaba Group’s main retail platform) wrapped up while the logistics staff had an extremely busy night processing a staggering number of deliveries. Singles Day was the culmination of an intense few weeks of testing and preparations, concluding with a busy 24 hours where every second was worth approximately ¥2.5 million RMB on average. This competitive spirit has been hailed as the “Business Olympics”.
Analysing the processes and the trends that arose as Double 11 unfolded gives us important clues as to what to expect from China’s upcoming shopping events (12.12, Christmas, Chinese New Year, and next year’s 6.18 and 11.11).
This years’ record-breaking figures are a significant part of China’s continuous consumption growth. For UK exporters, it also demonstrates the fast-developing cross-border, e-commerce markets cropping up in cities other than tier one (places like Beijing and Shanghai). With less established foreign brands in these thriving marketplaces, UK exporters have a greater chance to create a strong market presence, a highly targeted export strategy and better access to China’s large consumer demographic.
Business Olympics – breaking records
Double Eleven shopping festival is well known for consistently breaking the previous year’s records. This 10th year is no different, with Tmall setting a number of new records, and no sign of slowing down.
● Just in the first two minutes, the GMV (Gross Merchandise Value) surpassed ¥10 billion RMB, and it took only another 1 hour 45 minutes to pass the ¥100 billion RMB mark.
● 1 hour and 40 seconds in, total GMV exceeded $10 billion USD, and did it 5 minutes and 21 seconds faster than last year.
● At 15:49, total GMV surpassed the total GMV of 2017 11.11, ¥168.2 billion RMB.
● By 17:32, the sales passed the $25.3bn mark (the previous year’s sales in USD).
The final results were:
● Alibaba Group GMV achieved a new breaking record of ¥213.5 billion RMB ($30.8bn)
● 237 brands exceeded ¥100 million RMB in GMV
● Across all the key e-commerce platforms in China, combined GMV has exceeded ¥300 billion RMB, breaking another record.
Number of delivery orders exceeded 812 million by 16:48, surpassing the total number of delivery orders of 2017 11.11. The final number of delivery orders exceeded 1 billion within 24 hours, from 180,000 brands.
ACOLINK’s CEO, Anita Zhang said: "Although some observers cast doubts if this is sustainable, with profit margins in some areas being naturally affected, it’s important to not just fixate on the final result — the figure, but look deeper and recognize how the process and the festival itself evolve, drives innovation, creates new opportunities, and how it ripples through the economy, industries, and society. And have been doing so over the past 10 years. This is innovation in progress. I’d say — don’t worry whether this [11.11 festival] is sustainable — leave the worry to the giants that make this happen, and seek ways to embrace the opportunity."
ACOLINK is hosting a series of events to help Northern Powerhouse businesses understand more about China before undertaking the export journey.
Their Let’s Do China initiative has joined forces with Northern Powerhouse Export campaign and Exporting is GREAT to bring export opportunities closer to local businesses. The first workshops will be running in Newcastle (20 November), Leeds (22 November) and Manchester (28 November).
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