In less than nine hours, Chinese consumers today spent more money online than U.S. consumers did during all of Cyber Monday last year, as tens of millions of PRC shoppers raced for bargains during the country’s annual 11.11 (Singles’ Day) e-shopping festival.
Eight hours and 42 minutes after the 24-hour, Nov. 11 promotion began, GMV (gross merchandise volume) generated through giant online shopping website Tmall surpassed RMB 12.15 billion ($1.98 billion), said officials for Tmall, the main sponsor and host of the online shopathon. Cyber Monday sales last year totaled $1.98 billion for the entire day, according to Adobe Digital Index.
By noon, halfway through the sale, total paid transaction volume reachedRMB 17.52 billion ($2.85 billion). About 17 percent of orders were being placed via mobile devices.
If you are having a hard time wrapping your head around the mind-boggling numbers, Tmall’s PR departmentoffered some surprising real-world comparisons to make things more relatable. (Alizila can’t vouch for the statistical method employed to come up with these factoids—and no, we can’t say what the obsession with personal undergarments is about).
√¢—¬è In the first hour of the sale, a total of 2 million pieces of underwear were sold. If laid out end-to-end, theconga lineof tidy whities would stretch for 1,864 miles (3,000 km).
√¢—¬è Enough brassieres were sold in the first hour that if stacked up, they would form a pile taller, and arguably more alluring,than three Mt. Everests.
√¢—¬è By 10:30 a.m., half a million cans of baby formula had been sold, enough to feed all of China’s two-month-old infants for two weeks.
√¢—¬è Back to undergarments and the end result of baby formula consumption: By 10:30 a.m., 66 million diapers had been sold. Assuming each diaper can hold 1,000 ml of moisture, that’s enough nappies to dry up six West Lakes. West Lake isa famous tourist attraction in Hangzhou, China, the headquarters for Alibaba Group, Tmall’s parent.
The results are all the more remarkable considering that the 11.11 promotiongenerated a mere RMB 50 million ($8 million) in sales in its inaugural year of 2009.
After completing diaper-related calculations, Tmall PR wonks noted in a press release that this year, more than 10 million people are estimated to be workingdirectlyand indirectly for the promotion, including Tmall merchants, customer service staff and logistics staff—an indication that the annual sale, now in it’s fifth year, has become a society-wide phenomenon that drives domestic consumption and has an impact on the entire Chinese economy.
At the very least, 11.11 is ensuring a large number of Chinese consumers will soon be wearing clean underwear.