Singles’ Day vs. Thanksgiving weekend 2020

GMV on Alibaba’s Singles’ Day was 3 times higher than Thanksgiving weekend sales

Singles’ Day, an unofficial Chinese holiday on November 11 celebrating people who are not in a relationship, has become the largest shopping event in the world. First introduced by tech giant Alibaba in 2009 as an opportunity to make special sales deals, the date with the four ones today marks an annual shopping frenzy in which stationary and online retailers like Tmall, Taobao, JD or Pinduoduo outbid each other with deals and promotions. For the first time in 2020, Singles’ Day was extended beyond its usual 24 hour frame: This year, Alibaba offered deals and promotions on four days between November 1 and 11, following the example of competitor JD, who had been celebrating a “deals week” for several years already. Unsurprisingly thus, the current GMV figures broke all previous records by far:

Although this year’s GMV results are hardly comparable with Alibaba’s former Singles’ Day sales figures – given that the shopping event was extended by several days – there is no doubt that the 2020 shopping event ties in with previous years’ success stories: With a total of US$74.1 billion, GMV for Alibaba went through the roof this year, reaching almost double as high an amount as in 2019 (US$38.4 billion). And another well-known aspect did not change: Singles’ Day again beat all other shopping events. When comparing the figures of the past years, Alibaba had constantly made way more money on its 24-hour deals frenzy than was generated through the whole Thanksgiving weekend in the U.S., including Thanksgiving Thursday, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. Although the U.S. shopping event weekend has also seen significant sales increases over the years – estimates by Adobe Analytics name combined 2020 online net sales of US$24.9 billion in the U.S.– the figures are still far from what Alibaba reached this year. Now that Alibaba has overcome the 24-hour limit for its major shopping event, it is likely that we will see even more impressive sales figures in the future.


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December 2020