Chinese consumers show their huge purchasing power in online shopping during the annual Singles’ Day event.

A 24-hour shopping extravaganza has ended in China, and online consumers spent 91.217 billion yuan ($14.32 billion) on online marketplaces operated by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. That’s up 54% up from $9.30 billion sales on the same date last year.

Even more impressive is that Singles’ Day sales exceeded average Chinese daily retail sales. On average this year, Chinese consumers spend 80.38 billion yuan ($12.63 billion) a day on retail goods, according to Chinese government data.  

“What Alibaba did different this year is that it offered new products and fresh shopping experiences, not just relying on deep discounts,” Qiu Han, a business school professor with an Alibaba educational organization, tells Internet Retailer. 

More international merchants and shoppers join Singles’ festival this year. According to Alibaba, about 5,000 brands from 25 countries, including the U.S., Japan and South Korea had promotions on Singles’ Day. Participating international brands include P&G, Unilever, Burberry, Estee Lauder, Zara, Huggies, Macy’s, Costco, Apple, Nike, Topshop and Uniqlo.

Alibaba also worked with 180,000 stores on cross-channel promotions. Consumers could use smartphones to scan QR codes in stores to get coupons for online shopping during Singles’ Day.


Mobile played a bigger role this year, and there was a significant shift among consumers’ shopping habits. Chinese consumers spent 62.642 billion yuan ($9.83 billion) from their mobile devices on Singles’ Day, representing 69% of total sales, according to Alibaba.

For more Chinese e-retail information, please click here for the Internet Retailer 2015 China 500