Asia’s e-commerce giants overtake Black Friday and Prime Day with Singles Day
With statistics described by the Harvard Business Review as ‘staggering’, Alibaba’s 2020 Singles Day has confirmed the phenomenal strength and relentless ambition of China’s e-commerce sector.
Singles Day, Bachelors Day, 11/11, anti-Valentine’s Day – call it what you will, Alibaba’s 11 November is officially the world’s largest online retail event, leaving Black Friday and Amazon’s Prime Day in its wake.
The 2020 results are jaw-dropping. Alibaba announced the shopping extravaganza had generated US$74bn in sales over an 11 day campaign – a 26% increase from 2019 results (which totaled US$38.4 billion and were described by Alibaba’s co-founder Jack Ma as ‘a financial disappointment’.)
By comparison, Alibaba’s 2020 Singles Day results are 2.5x higher than all of the United States on Black Friday, and 4x higher than Amazon’s Prime Day.
Whether Amazon can even begin to compete with the sheer size and scale of the Alibaba operation is questionable. The Chinese titan has the unique advantage of enjoying a home market more than four times the size of Amazon’s in the United States, and the technology and processing power to match: at peak periods, 583,000 Singles Day orders were processed per second.
While China’s economic growth has understandably stagnated in 2020, the country’s e-commerce sector shows no signs of slowing, with the Singles Day figures forecast to grow another $50-60 billion in 2021. The rise of Asia's middle class and massive purchasing power will remain a dominate theme for years to come.