Sales hit $17.8bn at Alibaba on Singles Day

By Rachel Lawler 16-Nov-2016

Mobile sales account for 82% of purchases as total sales rise 32% in a year

Alibaba has reported record sales after this year's Singles Day event.

The e-commerce giant recorded total sales of $17.8bn, an increase of 32% compared to the previous year's event. At its peak, the site was generaing 175,000 orders per second.

Alibaba's Founder Jack Ma has previous expressed an ambition to take the event global, and 2016 saw steps towards this goal. Brands from across the world participated in the sale and 37% of consumers involved were from outside of China. Panasonic and Philips were some of the most popular personal care brands taking part.


Singles Day racked up sales totalling $1bn in less than five minutes. The first hour of the event saw sales of $5bn, although this included some pre-orders placed by consumers looking to “lock in” prices ahead of the event.

Within half a day, the event had almost matched its total for last year – $14bn – by making $12bn in sales in just 12 hours.


The vast majority of sales at Alibaba were made on mobile devices, with some brands using augmented reality and virtual reality to give consumers more choice when purchasing products.


Singles Day, also called double 11, initially launched on Alibaba in 2009. It was said to be a day dedicated to single people. Since then, rival e-commerce sites, including, have joined in the event.


Alibaba is the world’s biggest shopping event, dwarfing the $5.8bn spent on Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the US in 2016.

Daniel Zhang, CEO at Alibaba Group, said: "This year's 11.11 is a preview of the future of retail, where entertainment, commerce and interactive engagement intersect seamlessly.

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"11.11 showcased how online and offline retail will be reinvented to offer brand new shopping experiences to our hundreds of millions of mobile, digitally savvy active users."