Most U.S. retailers consider Black Friday and Cyber Monday their most important shopping events of the entire year, let alone the holiday season. But those two days combined pale in comparison to China’s Singles’ Day holiday, now rebranded as 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, which just generated a whopping $25 billion in sales for Alibaba in a 24-hour period.


Singles’ Day – the annual Chinese shopping fest that takes place annually on 11/11 for people to celebrate being single – just broke the record for the world’s largest retail event ever. If you haven’t been paying attention in past years, it’s definitely time to start. The influence of Singles’ Day is increasingly reaching across borders.

“…Singles’ Day, or the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, surpassed all predictions. In fact, the event was so popular that it generated $1 billion in the first two minutes…”

In fact, this year, Singles’ Day attracted shoppers from at least 225 countries and regions. Additionally, the 15 million products listed on Alibaba’s Tmall included merchandise from over 60,000 international brands, and had a 40 percent increase in the number of participating brands over last year. Alibaba’s Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang recently commented that the company wants to make the event more global, and is planning to take the holiday’s famous kick-off gala overseas soon. There’s a lot that retailers can learn from this weekend’s online shopping frenzy – details that will be indicative of the future of online retail and the preference of Chinese consumers that are powering the world’s largest economy. For example, one surprising statistic to consider is that about 90 percent of Singles’ Day transactions took place on mobile devices. The shift to mobile has been clear for some time, but this shows that it might be happening faster than some might expect.

Overall, revenue from this year’s Singles’ Day, or the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, surpassed all predictions. In fact, the event was so popular that it generated $1 billion in the first two minutes, driven in part by pre-orders. As the influence of this shopping holiday continues to grow globally along with the number of new middle-class consumers, it’s something that brands everywhere should be keeping their eyes on.

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