A screen shows the gross merchandise volume, a measure of sales, after 12 minutes 49 seconds of Singles Day sales, as it reaches about 7,147,554,107 USD on November 11, 2019.
Gross merchandise value (GMV), a figure that shows sales across Alibabas various shopping platforms, surpassed last years 213.5 billion yuan record (nearly $30.5 billion) on Monday afternoon local time, and kept rising through the rest of the day.
It was the 11th edition of the annual Singles Day event also called the Double 11 shopping festival because it falls on Nov. 11. During the 24-hour period, which began at midnight in Singapore and Hong Kong, Alibaba offered huge discounts across its e-commerce sites such as Tmall.
Alibabas Singles Day sales last year exceeded the spending by consumers during any single U.S. shopping holiday such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
To help boost sales, Alibaba expanded the number of discounted items available in this years event and put a heavy emphasis on livestreaming via its platforms to help sell goods. Live streaming has become a big part of the shopping experience on Chinese e-commerce sites.
Online personalities often speak to their followers and talk about products as well. On Wednesday, Kim Kardashian did a livestream announcing her fragrance brand KKW will be available for sale on Tmall.
Alibabas new Singles Day record comes as it faces a slowing Chinese economy and stiff competition from domestic rivals. While Alibaba is the name often associated with the mega shopping event, competitors JD.com and Pinduoduo all offer their own sales.
Even Taylor Swift performed!
JD.com was already offering some Double 11 discounts before the actual day. Even Southeast Asias e-commerce platforms have jumped on the bandwagon.
The day got off to a strong start for Alibaba. GMV hit $12.01 billion in the first hour. Within an hour and a half, Alibabas sales exceeded the total reached on Singles Day in 2016.
Some of the top-selling products early in the day included the 5G version of Huaweis Mate 30 Pro smartphone, as well as Apples iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max.
As of the time of writing this article, the total amount hasn't been confirmed. We will update the comments to reflect the final amount!