Alibaba’s Singles’ Day Pulls in More Than $70 Billion in Sales So Far

As it wraps up Singles’ Day, Alibaba is sharing record-high statistics that showcase the strength of Chinese purchasing power amid the persistent global pandemic.

According to the China-based e-commerce giant, the annual shopping extravaganza generated a gross merchandise volume of 467.5 billion yuan, or nearly $70.5 billion at current exchange, as of 9:05 p.m. local time. (Gross merchandise volume refers to the total value of merchandise sold over a certain period of time on an online marketplace.) Analysts have pointed out that pent-up demand has likely been a major driver of sales for retailers as a whole.

That number has so far already surpassed the GMV recorded at the end of the event last year, when Alibaba saw GMV of  268.4 billion yuan. However, this year’s figure is skewed, considering the online behemoth added a window of sales starting on Nov. 1. (The GMV for 2020 counts sales made on Nov. 1 through 3 and Nov. 11.)

Digging into the data, Alibaba found that 342 labels had achieved 100 million yuan, or $15.1 million, in GMV, while 13 among them have surpassed 1 billion yuan, or nearly $150.8 million. While it did not specify which companies specifically made sales in those tiers, it announced that the top brands were Adidas, Apple, Estée Lauder, L’Oréal, Lancôme and Nike.

This year, the retailer joined a growing list of international chains and websites — counting Walmart, Target and Amazon — that extended the timelines of their holiday sales events in a bid to avert logistical challenges heightened by the COVID-19 health crisis, as well as capitalize on shoppers flocking to online channels, with many of them unable to visit stores amid renewed lockdowns.

Last week, Alibaba reported financial results for the three moths ended Sept. 30. It recorded revenues that advanced 30% year over year to almost 155.1 million yuan, or $22.8 million at the time. Annual active consumers on its China-based retail marketplaces reached 757 million — an increase of 15 million for the twelve months ended June 30. Last week, the company unveiled a strategic partnership with digital fashion titans Farfetch and Richemont to provide high-end brands with “enhanced access to the China market” and to accelerate the digitization of the global luxury industry.

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