Sin­gles Day makes a huge splash this year

The Star Malaysia - - World -

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.—

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