TMall declares best, if not biggest, Singles Day ever

On the first Singles Day in 2009, only 27 brands took part. This year, more than 290,000 brands sold over 21 million products.

Photo by Kuang Da

Photo by Kuang Da



YANG Guang, Alibaba’s president of Tmall operations, said at a press conference that this year saw the largest and the most widely covered Singles Day ever.

At midnight on November 12, Tmall’s Singles Day event came to an end. According to Tmall, this year's shopping spree saw no more transactions than last year, meaning sales of around 540 billion yuan (US$76 billion). Rather than reporting the actual number- a hugely important event in previous years - Alibaba for the first time in history, decided to only say that they had done just fine.

New habits, new categories

On November 11, 2009, the first Singles Day, only 27 brands took part. This year, more than 290,000 brands sold over 21 million products. Taobao Live has ushered in a new era for Double 11. The broadcast room followers exceeded 100 million, double compared with last year.

New consumption habits have brought new product categories, with sports, jewelry, pets, and entertainment growing rapidly. As of November 10, 150 categories had doubled their transaction volume.

DAI Shan, head of TMall’s domestic e-commerce said: "Through this year’s Double 11, we have seen tremendous demand potential and consumption dynamism in the Chinese market, as well as the continued resilience of the Chinese economy and industry. This gives us confidence in the real economy."

The worst is over

In the middle of this year, supply chain disruptions and weak consumer confidence caused by the recurrence of COVID-19 hurt the consumer market badly. In the past, the novelty was enough for brands to grow.

"But freshness doesn't last forever. When the filter goes away, consumption behavior becomes rational and objective. Now buyers go over each purchase with a magnifying glass and pay attention to a lot more than price," Dai said.

Brands need to offer actual value, and focus on buyers’ needs, all the way from the factory to the doorstep, and in most cases, back again.