Single’s day (analogous to America’s Black Friday) is often used as a surrogate marker to assess growth in China’s ecommerce sector. This year Single’s day broke all records with turnover of 253.97 billion rmb, bolstered by growth in rural areas and strong performance in areas like infant formula and milk.
On November 12, Alibaba announced that it generated a record 168.2 billion rmb ($25.3 billion) in sales on Singles’ Day, an increase of 39 percent compared to 2016, which made Singles’ Day (11 11) the world's largest shopping event.
JD, a competitor of Alibaba recorded total sales volume of 127.1 billion rmb representing 50% growth compared with the previous year.
Among all the 253.97 billion rmb online sales volume, mobile purchases accounted for 91% and overseas purchase 21.9%.
Chart 1: Mothercare product online sales in 2017 China Singles’ Day Event
Chart 2 : Infant formula online sales in 2017 China Singles’ Day Event
Chart 3: Liquid milk online sales in 2017 China Singles’ Day Event
Chart 4: Water & drinks online sales in 2017 China Singles’ Day Event
It’s noteworthy that on Singles’ Day CCTV released an annual development report of E-commerce in China, which revealed that growth was 34.2% with a total sales of 4.88 trillion rmb from Jan to Sep 2017 compared with 26.2% in 2016. Growth of ecommerce purchases in rural China has also been strong. Online sales in rural areas was 836.14 billion rmb with a 38.3% growth from Jan. to Sep. 2017.
With the consumption and technology upgrade, China has the largest E-commerce sector in the world, accounting for 40% of global sales in 2016.
Chart 5: 2016 Global Online Retail Sales