The Chi­nese e-com­merce ma­jor Alibaba grossed over US $25 bil­lion in its 24-hour long 11.11 Global Shop­ping Fes­ti­val on Satur­day.

The com­pany sold US $25.38 bil­lion (168.2 bil­lion Chi­nese Yuan) worth of goods within 24 hours of its an­nual sales event, reg­is­ter­ing about 39 per­cent growth over its pre­vi­ous year’s sales of US $18 bil­lion dur­ing the one-day event in 2016. “This year is the first time that the fest was held dur­ing the week­end, on a Satur­day. We had con­sumers who shopped through­out the day right up till the last sec­ond of the fes­ti­val,” said Daniel Zhang, the Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of the Alibaba Group, as the sales event came to a close.

It was not a fest just for con­sumers but also for the mer­chants, with 157 mer­chants reg­is­ter­ing over 100 mil­lion Chi­nese Yuan (about US $15 mil­lion) worth sales within 24 hours, Zhang said. The ninth edi­tion of the much an­tic­i­pated 24-hour an­nual shop­ping fes­ti­val was kicked off at mid­night of Fri­day in China. The fes­ti­val had pro­mo­tions and of­fers from over 140,000 brands and 15 mil­lion prod­uct listings this year.

About 325,000 or­ders were pro­cessed per sec­ond dur­ing the fes­ti­val by Alibaba Cloud (the cloud com­put­ing arm of Alibaba) and 256,000 pay­ment trans­ac­tions were made for the placed or­ders through Ali­pay (Alibaba’s on­line pay­ment plat­form), the com­pany an­nounced.

Nearly 90 per­cent of the or­ders that were placed from across the world dur­ing the shop­ping fest were made through mo­bile phones. This year’s fes­ti­val was en­ter­tain­ment-and-me­dia driven with a “new re­tail” strat­egy em­ploy­ing var­i­ous ways to en­gage the Chi­nese con­sumers both on­line and off­line, Zhang said. The com­pany had con­verted about 100,000 re­tail stores to “smart stores”, which al­low con­sumers to re­ceive cus­tomised shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence with the use of fa­cial recog­ni­tion, “cloud shelf” and lo­ca­tion-based store and dis­count rec­om­men­da­tions among oth­ers.

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