This Singles Day, AliBaba goes for it

  • With other important dates on the horizon, Singles Day is set to break all records. Did it succeed?

  • Marketplaces are the great entertainer of the market. In our part of the world, Amazon Prime Days have been competing in popularity for years with big seasonal events, such as Black Friday or the Christmas campaign itself.

    But, if you read us regularly, you already know that there are many more alternative marketplaces to Amazon, and that AliBaba/AliExpress is one of the most solid.
    That is what we are going to talk about in this post: the huge dimension it has in the Asian market and the one it is reaching in the rest of the international markets, thanks, in part, to its Singles Day.
  • OK, what is Singles Day?

  • It sounds a bit strange this "Singles' Day", but it is actually the alternative that was invented in China as an answer to Valentine's Day itself.
    Originally, it was an excuse to have a date when singles could afford a treat, at a good price and without the need to have a third party to give them a gift.
    This date was chosen because 11/11 is the date with the most "number 1's" on the calendar... and nothing represents singleness better than number one. You can learn more about the origin of Singles Day on this post, but let's move on to today.
  • The size and forecast of Singles Day 2022

  • We can start by summarizing it in a couple of words: a madness. We are facing an edition that outside Spain has been particularly strong in sales, at least if we pay attention to AliBaba's movements in terms of logistics.
  • To put into context what has happened, nothing better than to use some very interesting public data.
  • #1 – Supply

  • Few things help us to size so well the forecasts of a company as the amount of product that they have pre-stocked in their warehouses to meet demand.
    Before giving you the figure, I remind you that we are talking about a macro-marketplace that has higher figures than Amazon, both for its sales in Asia and, increasingly, in the rest of the world.
    Now: CAINIAO (that is the name of its logistics network) has stocked 370,000,000 products. You read that right: 370 million products ready for packaging and distribution from more than 200 seaports around the world.
    Among all these items, and to put a little more emphasis on what has been this year's Singles Day, there is a star product: LEGO. From the moment the pre-sale of the popular plastic bricks started, and in just one week, 30 wagons have left Germany loaded to the brim.
  • #2 – Delivery times

  • This has always been one of AliBaba's Achilles' heels, especially in the face of the "westernization" of the service. Being in such a remote part of the world (as seen from here) means that delivery times are lengthy.
    Add to that the fact that transport companies are often saturated to the point of near collapse when there is so much seasonal demand, and - let's not forget this - that there are still problems arising from the container crisis that worsened a few months ago.
    Well, AliBaba has spared no resources and has relied on more than 400 transportation services by land, sea and air. 400 companies covering Europe, the United States, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia.
    To service all these suppliers and customers, and to do so efficiently, this is the first year they have implemented a full warehouse system. By running uninterrupted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for distribution and re-stocking, delays during Singles Days have been reduced like never before.
  • #3 – Live Streaming

  • This is a fully established trend in Asian eCommerce. Live Streaming is here to stay and influencers sell through live video broadcasts within the platforms themselves.
    Well, during the Singles Day period, the streamers have been directly connected to the stores, so that all orders have been received, processed and tracked in real time.
  • For all of us who are dedicated to selling online, seeing how platforms like this one work with seasonality helps us to draw interesting conclusions that we can apply at our scale.
  • Have the forecasts for Singles Day 2022 been met?

  • AliBaba has not provided a full report - at least for the moment - but what they do tell us is that it was "in line with last year," which would be a significant result, given that they generated 540.3 billion Yuan - or, what amounts to the same thing, 74.23 billion Euros - in gross merchandise volume in 2021.
    Obviously, that is a lot of products and a lot of sellers. According to the Chinese marketplace, more than 290,000 brands from 90 countries and regions participated in this Singles Day. In terms of products, suffice it to say that references corresponding to 7,000 different categories were sold in this campaign.
     This Singles Day 2022 has shown remarkable growth in the categories of sports and outdoor activities, pet products, toys, collectibles and jewelry.
    Another highlight was the streaming performance. More than 300 million consumers have watched the live streaming sessions organized on Taobao Live since the start of the pre-sale period.
    During the entire sales period, 62 live streaming channels managed by influencers and merchants have exceeded 100 million Yuan, and 632 live streaming channels managed by influencers and merchants have exceeded 10 million Yuan (always in gross merchandise values).
  • And you, does it scare or motivate you to see how this Singles Day AliBaba has gone all out? Do you think it will end up having an impact in the West? How do you think you could use it to your advantage? Share your thoughts in the comments.

  • Images | Unsplash.

Laia Ordoñez

Laia Ordóñez is a copywriting & eCommerce content marketing expert. She is Content & Marketing Manager at DueHome, a copywriting & content independent advisor, and Oleoshop's blog's editor-in-chief.

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