What began as an in-joke between Chinese university students about their lack of significant others has evolved into the world’s biggest online shopping day. 

Alibaba’s 11:11 Global Shopping Festival is an annual event held on 11 November, otherwise known as Singles Day, originally launched by the retailer to raise awareness of ecommerce in China

This year saw a record-breaking spending spree, and the stats below are enough to turn even the most gracious ecommerce sites green with envy.

1. Alibaba smashed its Singles Day record with US$14.3bn of sales

Alibaba broke its previous Singles Day sales record by a significant figure. The ecommerce giant saw sales of 91.2bn yuan ($14.3bn, £9.4bn), a 60% increase on 2014. 

To put that in context, Alibaba’s sales on Cyber Monday, the biggest shopping day in the US, were just US$1.35bn last year. 

2. 2014 record beaten in 14 hours

Within just over 14 hours, sales had already hit US$10bn.

This means it took just over half a day to beat last year’s total 24-hour spend of US$9.3bn for Singles Day.

3. 71% of Alibaba’s Singles Day sales came from mobile devices

This figure is a massive increase on 2014, when only 43% of sales came from mobile devices

4. More than US$1.4bn bought within the first eight minutes

Singles Day got off to a flying start, with shoppers spending a staggering US$1.4bn within just the first eight minutes of trading. 

5. US$5bn bought within the first 90 minutes

Alibaba continued to see early success, with sales reaching $5.5bn after the first hour. 

This means the retailer achieved more than half of 2014’s total Singles Day sales with more than 95% of the day remaining.  

6. 100m orders placed within the first hour

Packages were already starting to arrive at shoppers’ homes within that hour. 

7. 120,000 orders placed every minute

It is estimated that an average of 120,000 orders were placed every minute throughout the day. 

8. 40,000 merchants took part

To put this into perspective, just 27 merchants were involved when Alibaba started the ‘11.11 Global Shopping Festival’ six years ago to raise awareness of online shopping in China.  

9. 6m products were on offer

The huge amount of products came from more than 30,000 brands in 25 countries, up from 27,000 brands in 2014. 

10. 180,000 brick-and-mortar stores took part across 330 cities 

Alibaba made the most of China’s online-to-offline trend by incorporating thousands of physical stores from all across China into ecommerce sales. 

For lots more up-to-date statistics…                                           

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