As Halloween night turned to Sunday morning, shoppers in China were eager to treat themselves to bargains in the official kickoff of Alibaba's Singles Day sale. In just over 100 minutes (111 to be exact), more than 100 brands achieved GMV (gross merchandise value) sales exceeding RMB 100 million (about US$15 million), according to Alibaba.
The brands reaching that mark include Nike, Adidas, Huawei, Midea, Xiaomi, Quanyou Home, Lin Wood, Perfect Diary, Barabara, Apple, L’Oréal, Haier, Estée Lauder and Lancôme, the company said.
This year's festival has two shopping windows, the first from November 1 through 3 and the second on November 11 itself.
Festivities began on Saturday night with a five-hour Livestreaming Gala broadcast through Hunan Satellite Television, Youku and other platforms. The event featured 70 celebrities and 17 Taobao Live studios.
Other highlights of the sale so far:
Cartier hosted its first-ever livestream, a two-hour affair that saw the brand unveil more than 400 pieces of jewelry and watches, including a necklace priced at $28.3 million. The livestream drew 770,000 viewers. Fellow Richemont brands including Montblanc, Piaget and IWC Schaffhausen are also among the more than 200 luxury brands taking part in this year's sale, which Alibaba says represents a doubling of luxury-brand participation.
TMall Global's GMV increased more than 90% year-over-year on its first day of presales (October 21). Imported coffee beans (up 92% YOY), wine and bird's nest (400%) and a camel-milk brand from Dubai (100%) all saw large increases, according to Alibaba.
Alibaba claims that the first parcel from this year's sale was delivered in 11 minutes, to a buyer in Wuhou whose midnight shopping need was liquid mosquito repellent.
- Farmers in Sichuan province's Liangshan prefecture stand to sell 60 million apples and realise $14.9 million in revenue during the sale. The big order, according to Alibaba, is just one result of an ongoing initiative to support agricultural regions. The company says it has hosted more than 2 million livestreaming sessions about agricultural products and has driven monthly sales growth over 200% for more than 1000 regional agricultural brands. How do ya like 'dem apples?