Venturebeat-Last week Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba shocked the web with news that its subsidiaries Taobao (like a Chinese eBay) and T-mall (like Amazon) sold a massive $3.06 billion in product in a single 24-hour period. Three billion dollars is almost triple the entire 2011 Black Friday sales of e-commerce sites in the United States, and this is a testament to both the growing maturity of the Chinese online market and the central position Alibaba holds in China.
The two sites, Taobao.com and Tmail.com, share a combined user base of half a billion registered users. That’s only about 30 percent of the total Chinese population, which means that Alibaba has a long runway for continued growth as the Chinese middle class continues to grow — and suggesting that a $10 billion day is not out of the realm of possibility in years to come.
There has been a change in Chinese consumer behavior toward e-commerce “increasingly becoming a primary shopping channel,” according to Alibaba. The entire industry has had double-digit growth year-over-year — since 2010 e-commerce in China has enjoyed an average 10 percent quarter to quarter growth rate — and Alibaba is outpacing the industry.
In addition to a general acceptance of e-commerce as perhaps the first option for shopping, Chinese consumers have been increasingly prone to spend big on “double sticks day,” 11/11. Also referred to as “singles’ day,” Nov. 11 has taken on a rough similarity to our Valentine’s Day. Singles try hard to not be single, couples celebrate that they are couples, and probably many more people are simply happy to dogpile any opportunity to shop big and save big, much like Black Friday in the U.S.
2 billion for Cyber Monday in North America and Europe in 2012
Adobe Systems released its Adobe® Digital Index 2012 Online Shopping Forecast focused on the 2012 holiday shopping season in the U.S. and Europe. Adobe expects Cyber Monday 2012 online revenue for the retail sector to reach $2 billion, growing by 18 percent year-over-year. The company’s data analysis also predicts strong purchasing activity from mobile devices, with mobile representing 21 percent of total online sales this holiday, an increase of 110 percent over last year.
Black Friday (November 23) is expected to be the second largest online sales day of 2012 when retailers will see a sales increase of 12 percent, year-over-year.
While all retailers benefit from increased Cyber Monday traffic, Brick-and-Click retailers are the segment expected to see the largest spike on Cyber Monday, bringing in nearly 540 percent more than what they do on an average day in 2012. Online-only retailers are expected to see an impressive, yet more modest sales increase of 210 percent this Cyber Monday compared to an average day throughout the year.
The $3 billion day is a huge proportion of Alibaba’s annual goal for Taobao and Tmall, which was one trillion RMB in 2012. That’s closing in on $150 billion U.S., which is serious money. Given Alibaba’s trajectory and China’s growth, it would seem that a $4 billion or $5 billion day would not be out of the question in 2013.
WantChinaTimes – Chen Yougang, global director of McKinsey, remarks that “The Nov. 11 buying-spree festival manifests the huge potential of China’s domestic demand. At present, trading volume at Taobao and Tmall has exceeded the combination of Amazon and eBay. Online shopping now accounts for 4.2% of the total retail sales in China, only 0.4 of a percentage point lower than the US, and is expanding at an annual clip of 60-70%, four times the speed in the US. China is likely to overtake the US and become the world’s largest online shopping market in two years.”