Alibaba's Singles' Day sale spawns a mind-numbing avalanche of really big numbers. And we've got them here. But also, some smaller numbers that also tell interesting stories about this year's sale. Plus, we threw in a few analyst and observer insights for good measure. Here we go.
Update, 12 November: Here is Alibaba's GMV (gross merchandise value) tally just after midnight on Tuesday, representing the 24 hours of Singles Day itself:
Update, 11 November: Now that the festival has actually begun, we can add a few more numbers:
The number of seconds it took after midnight for Alipay to rack up US$1 billion in GMV.
The number of minutes and seconds it took after midnight for Alipay to rack up US$10 billion in GMV.
Amount of GMV, in RMB, settled through Alipay in 63 minutes, 59 seconds. That milestone, equal to US$14.28 billion, arrived more than 43 minutes faster than in 2018.
We are not going to attempt to keep up with Singles Day stats throughout the day, but our China editor, Cindy Gu, is. Please see our Chinese-language site www.campaignchina.com for her ongoing updates.
The number of shoppers Alibaba expects, an increase of 100 million over last year.
The amount of GMV (gross merchandise value), in US$, that Alibaba is expected to bring in during the 24 hours of Singles' Day itself. (Forrester)
Number of brands participating (Alibaba)
“PwC expects Singles Day sales to rise moderately this year, albeit at a slower pace compared with the last few years as macroeconomic uncertainty continues to weigh on consumer confidence. Despite the slowing consumer market, online retail shows resilience with a 16.8% increase in the first three quarters of 2019, outpacing the overall growth of 8.2% in total retail sales during the same period.”
—Jennifer Ye, PwC China consumer markets leader
Estimated number of international brands participating, representing 300% year-over-year growth. (Alibaba)
Number of Southeast Asia shoppers expected to take part (Forrester)
The number of hours that will be spent in shopping apps on Android phones in China during the week of 11.11 2019 and the week prior—up 40% from the same time period in 2017. (App Annie)
Sales, in US$, that Lancôme, L’Oréal Paris, Shiseido, Helena Rubinstein, Olay, Estee Lauder and The History of Whoo all surpassed within the first 10 minutes of presales. (Mindshare China)
The percentage of shoppers who do not plan to take part, up from 1% last year. (AlixPartners)
"In anticipation of large pre-sales this year, thousands of merchants have upgraded to Tmall 2.0—previously only available for mass brands—which offers them the ability to customise their flagship stores using a suite of new tools and features to engage with customers through rich, personalised content and promotions, as well as an omnichannel experience."
—Linda Qin, Allison Zhang and Nicholas Short, Mindshare China
The number of hours that will be spent in shopping apps on Android phones in Singapore during the week of 11.11 2019 and the week prior—up 25% year over year and up 175% from the same time period in 2016. (App Annie)
Number of packages that will be sent during the 24 hours, a 42% increase over last year. (China postal authorities)
Number of recycling stations Alibaba has pledged to set up across China, as part of its plan for “a greener 11.11.” The company expects its express-courier partners to set up another 35,000.
The percentage of women who plan to shop during this year's festival. (Mindshare China, citing PJdaren)
More on Singles' Day
How Master Kong, Mars Wrigley, Shiseido and others prepared for Singles Day 2019 Marketers from major companies reveal how the Double 11 sales spectacular drives their product optimisation, e-commerce and marketing investments, in some cases throughout the year.
11.11: Experts decipher the major changes for 2019
Tune into Campaign China on Monday for live updates and photos as 11.11 unfolds.
Amount, in RMB, that 40% of female shoppers plan to spend, equal to US$430. (Mindshare China)
Percentage by which shoppers in first- and second-tier cities expect to increase their spending during this year's sale. (AlixPartners)
The percentage of women in lower-tier cities planning to spend RMB1,000 (US$143) or more. (Mindshare China, citing PJdaren)
The percentage of women in first- and second-tier cities planning to spend RMB1,000 (US$143) or more. (Mindshare China, citing PJdaren)
Number of “special edition” 11.11-themed versions of products that international brands will offer. (Alibaba)
"Last year, Alibaba expanded its 11.11 product portfolio to new industries like automobile and hotel. This year, Alibaba pushes it further to a wider range of new areas, from entertainment to offline services to real estate. This 11.11, consumers in China can buy tickets to Disney Parks, car care services, home decoration, and renovation services online. What’s more, Alibaba plans to sell 10,000 apartments on its auction platform."
—Xiaofeng Wang and Satish Meena, Forrester
Factor by which sales generated by livestreaming on the first day of presales increased this year. (Mindshare China)
Percentage of respondents who do not plan to make part of their purchase through livestreaming during this year’s sale. (AlixPartners)
Number of viewers who tuned into a livestream by Li Jiaqi, known as the Lipstick King, on the first day of this year’s presales. (Mindshare China)
Number of minutes it took Li Jiaqi to sell RMB100 million worth of products during his livestream. (Mindshare China)
Number of featured products Li Jiaqi offered, all of which sold out of in five minutes during his livestream. (Mindshare China)
Percentage by which spending by women will exceed that of men. (AlixPartners)
“A key growth engine of this year’s Singles Day is China’s lower-tier cities, where the consumption potential is estimated to triple to USD 6.9 trillion by 2030. In 2018, Alibaba’s platforms gained 100 million new annual active users, of which 70% resided in lower-tier cities."
—Jennifer Ye, PwC China consumer markets leader