Singles Day makes a huge splash this year
BEijiNg: Fiji vacation packages, iPhone Xs and even an Aston Martin powerboat – these were some of the things shoppers bought on this year’s Singles Day.
Such purchases give a glimpse into how Chinese consumers are shifting from bagging a bargain on everyday merchandise to scooping up higher-priced, higher-quality goods and experiences on the biggest event on the world’s retail calendar.
The promotional event is growing in size, variety and sophistication as technology improves services. Sales topped 100 million yuan (RM63mil) for each of 167 merchants using platforms of internet behemoth Alibaba Group, and shoppers plunked down just over US$1bil (RM4.2bil) an hour during the day-long discount gala.
A user from Guizhou province splurged on a 17 million yuan (RM10.7mil) Aston Martin powerboat, becoming the most extravagant spender on Alibaba’s Tmall platform.
The event had humble beginnings in 2009, as Alibaba used a holiday for singles – the numerical date looks like four single people – and turned it into an online discount day.
This year, Alibaba’s platforms tallied total sales of 168.2 billion yuan (RM106bil), up 39.3% from last year, and No 2 platform JD. com logged 127.1 billion yuan (RM80bil) during an 11-day promotion through Saturday.—