The world’s biggest online shopping day is underway, and in just one hour, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. raked in $8.6 billion in sales.
The e-giant behind Singles’ Day — or 11.11 — is on track to break its previous records, with Citigroup predicting a 31 percent rise in gross merchandise volume to $23.8 billion. In 2016, Alibaba generated $17.8 billion in gross merchandise volume on its platforms. (Gross merchandise volume — a measure of growth in the e-commerce space — is often used interchangeably with sales to refer to the revenues generated on Alibaba’s online platforms.)
This year, Alibaba estimates that 140,000 brands, 15 million products and half a billion consumers around the world will take part in the 24-hour festival. For Alibaba specifically, it expects more than 60,000 international brands to be available across its marketplaces, including Adidas, Nike, Zara and Uniqlo.
On the retailer side, New York-based sneaker consignment boutique Stadium Goods — which announced a partnership with Alibaba last year — is among the U.S.-based companies returning this year for a slice of the multibillion-dollar Singles’ Day sales pie.
Jed Stiller, co-founder and managing partner at Stadium Goods, said the company is offering an array of higher–priced sneakers such as Adidas Boost, NMD and Yeezys, and various Nike styles, including Huaraches, FlyKnits and Nike Dunks.
“We’re offering discounts and coupons to drive sales around a nice offering of product,” he said. “We’re also doing some livestream videos to engage with consumers on the platform.”
Stadium Goods co-founder and CEO John McPheters is in Shanghai for the first time as part of a select group of U.S. executives who helped ring in the 11.11 event with the Alibaba team.
“The partnership with Alibaba has been incredible since Day One. It’s a great opportunity to present ourselves to the Chinese market,” Stiller said. “When we first launched on TMall, there was a lot of interest in our brand. With help from [Alibaba executive chairman] Jack Ma’s stamp of approval, we began to build the trust and form a relationship with Chinese customers from there.”
He added, “We’ve been successful on the platform by working collaboratively with the Alibaba team to understand the changing needs of the young, upwardly mobile consumers and their forms of consumption. We’re also able to satisfy their demand with our curated selection of the most exclusive, hard-to-find sneakers and apparel in the world. Alibaba TMall Global is a fantastic partner, and you can learn best practices about how to conduct and handle yourself as a business when growing globally.”