Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba lapped up over 91 billion yuan (USD 13.14 billion) of gross merchandise volume (GMV) in just a little over one hour into its annual Single's Day shopping extravaganza, setting the retailer firmly on track for a new record in sales volume this year.
Last year, Alibaba racked up record-breaking sales of $25.3 billion on 'Single's Day' in just 24 hours. This year, Alibaba appears set to break all records, with gross sales volumes at just over one hour accounting for more than half of the total sales volume in 2017.
To be clear, GMV exceeded USD 1 billion in just the first minute of Alibaba's annual 11.11 Single's Day sale.
At 4 minutes, 20 seconds, GMV was over 19.1 billion yuan, surpassing the total sales volume for 2012.
Less than 10 minutes later, or 12 minutes and 14 seconds into the sale, GMV surged to 36.2 billion yuan, outpacing its 2013 levels. By the first 35 minutes of the shopping festival, GMV exceeded 57.1 billion yuan, beating its 2014 levels.
Alibaba had earlier said it expects its 11.11 Global Shopping Festival in 2018 to be the largest-ever in terms of scale and reach. This year, the shopping festival is focusing on Alibaba’s New Retail strategy --the convergence of online and offline retail through technology.
Currently in its 10th year, Alibaba’s annual shopping fest features over 500,000 items across 180,000 brands on Tmall. This compares with 140,000 brands last year and just 27 merchants in its first year.