Alibaba's Single's Day Shopping Festival





Introduction

Make no mistake, Single's Day was a huge success for Alibaba.

Sales reached $5.8 billion in the first hour of the event and were up 60% year-over-year to reach $17.8 billion by midnight (Alibaba's Singles Day 2017).

Although there are many companies that offer discounts on this day, it is clear that Alibaba has cornered the market with its site offering over 40 million products at discounted prices. This company is not only dominating online sales but also offline sales as well through various promotions such as "Singles Day Shopping Festival" events around China and other countries where they operate. With their growth rates projected to be 100 times higher than Amazon by 2020, it doesn't seem likely they will be losing any of their sizable lead (Alibaba's Singles Day).

Although this is a "holiday" that encourages people to purchase items they normally wouldn't, Alibaba's success shows how companies can successfully promote spending.



 

1. What is Alibaba's Single's Day and Why do people celebrate it

Alibaba's Single's Day is a shopping day that was created by Alibaba founder Jack Ma in 2009. Beginning in China, the idea behind the day is to encourage people to buy themselves gifts without feeling guilty about it. In America, this is considered a Hallmark holiday.

Why do people celebrate it ? This is a question that has puzzled many people for years. Single's Day was created by Alibaba, in 2009 in China to motivate single people in the country to do something nice for themselves on this day instead of feeling bad about being alone. Over time, Alibaba executives noticed that the day had different connotations depending on where you were. In China, it was to reward single people with gifts they might normally judge themselves for wanting, while in America it becomes more of a Hallmark holiday celebrating love between friends and family. The company has taken off since then with employees all around the world eagerly awaiting this one day every year when deals are plentiful online or you can find deals at your local mall-basically becoming another Black Friday. It has become increasingly popular as Alibaba has opened the day to other countries and now they have their own Single's Day Shopping Festival.


2. How does this affect the economy and society

Economy

There is no doubt that Alibaba's success has had a significant effect on the economy. China's gross domestic product grew by 6.9% in 2016, the slowest rate in 26 years (TED). The slowing of economic growth can be attributed to several factors, one of which is Alibaba. Many small businesses are struggling to keep up with the enormous competition it presents to them through their large size and affordable prices. They are also facing increased presence in markets outside of China where America is increasingly becoming an important player (Alibaba's Singles Day).


Society

The event also affects society in many ways. Those who share this day with this company, often do so in the spirit of togetherness and friendship without barriers. This is evident in the American view of the holiday which often sees friends taking pictures together wearing goofy hats and sharing gifts. It has also not only affected the way people shop but it has changed their expectations when shopping online.

For instance, this past year Alibaba offered "Free Shipping Day" where customers could get free shipping on orders over $19. Prior to this event, many companies would offer free returns in order to provide better customer service, however, many companies are following Alibaba's lead by offering their own promotions leading up to Singles Day in an effort to drive more sales during that day (Alibaba's Singles Day).


3. The history & future of Alibaba and its impact on retailers in China and around the world

Alibaba CEO, Jack Ma, created Single's Day in 2009 in response to a staff meeting in which he challenged his employees to sell $10 billion worth of merchandise in one day. This day has grown exponentially since then and is now celebrated all around the world. It has become an annual tradition that is projected to be 100 times greater than Amazon by 2020 (Alibaba's Singles Day).


The future of Alibaba and its impact on retailers in China and around the world remains a question. One of the reasons that Alibaba has been able to maintain a competitive advantage is due to their abilities to assist small businesses with access to larger markets through providing better infrastructure for logistics, supply chain management, and marketing. This is being done by helping these companies expand into new markets.


According to the CEO of Alibaba, it should not be too difficult for them to provide support for other countries so long as they have an internet connection while China's Singles Day shopping festival is just beginning. (Alibaba's Singles Day).

The company has taken off since then with employees all around the world eagerly awaiting this one day every year when deals are plentiful online or you can find deals that are even better in person. They have expanded their company into other countries to accommodate the increasingly professional single's market, including Australia and America (Alibaba).



Conclusion

Alibaba's Singles Day Shopping Festival is a day where people are encouraged to spend money on themselves and not feel guilty about it. The festival began in 2009 when Alibaba founder Jack Ma challenged his employees to see if they could sell $10 billion worth of merchandise in one day. They succeeded and then turned the event into an annual tradition that is now celebrated around the world. In China, it was meant as a reward for single people with gifts they might normally judge themselves for wanting, while America has become more of a Hallmark holiday celebrating love between friends and family.


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