Alibaba‘s Singles Day sales event saw the Chinese ecommerce giant rake in $17.8 billion USD (£14.2 billion) in gross revenue on the ecommerce giant‘s China and international retail marketplaces.
Settled through Alipay, Alibaba‘s online payment platform, the figure is a 32 per cent growth compared to 2015‘s Singles Day event, which takes place on November 11.
Mobile sales also accounted for 82 per cent of total gross revenue, compared to 69 per cent last year.
Single‘s Day is Alibaba‘s answer to Black Friday, which sees its 500 million-plus Chinese market take advantage of sales and special deals and invites bachelors and bachelorettes to celebrate their single status by buying themselves a present.
At its peak, Alibaba processed 175,000 orders per second, and the online retail giant earned $1 billion USD (£800 million) in the first five minutes of trade and around $7 billion USD (£5.8 billion) in the first two hours.
Alibaba said it processed more and one billion payment transactions via Alipay on Singles Day, with 235 countries and regions taking part in cross-border trade, with international buyers accounting for 37 per cent of Singles Day customers.
UK retailers such as New Look, Marks & Spencer and Topshop, which signed up to Alibaba‘s Tmall platform also enjoyed successful trading on the day.
“This year‘s 11.11 is a preview of the future of retail, where entertainment, commerce and interactive engagement intersect seamlessly,” Alibaba chief executive Daniel Zhang said.
“From the kick-off of warm-up activities to last night‘s countdown gala and all the way through the 24-hour global shopping festival itself, we‘ve seen unprecedented engagement between consumers and merchants.
“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.”