…or how Alibaba took a day dedicated to activities for single people and turned it into the world’s largest online shopping festival!
With all the numbers for Black Friday sales in the United States starting to pour in and massive hype built up around the coming Cyber Monday, I can’t help but take a pause and reflect on the massive shopping festival that just took place in China.
It was a record breaking year in China! This year’s final tally hit a new record: $17.79 billion in gross merchandise volume, up from $14.3 billion in 2015. The 2016 event saw a peak of 175,000 transactions and 120,000 payments per second.
Origins of “Double 11”: Taken from the date 11/11 the numbers represent the lonely figures of single people.
Everyone wants to get in on the action this year with more of a global presence that ever before.
Alibaba even looking to capture and excited consumers has employed new VR technology to create more immersive experiences through digital. Even though there was a mixed review of the outputs, it definitely marks a step forward to embracing these emerging technologies.
Marks & Spencer, a UK department store has decided to close its stores in China this past week. While it may seem apropos that in the wake of the e-commerce festival this classic brick & mortar has fallen victim to the growing tide of digital, there were perhaps more warning signs leading up to their departure from this market. If anything, it points to the need for closer connections between e-commerce and offline, and more than anything – that the role and purpose for offline stores is changing rapidly away from merchandise on display to experiential.