Alibaba's 2020 Global Shopping Festival generates RMB498 billion

Revenge shopping has returned: The big winner of this year's Single's Day looks to be Alibaba, who reports a GMV of RMB498.2 billion (US$74.1 billion) from this year's Global Shopping Festival.

Turning the unofficial 11.11 "holiday" into an multi-day shopping event proved to be a rewarding strategy for Alibaba, who developed this year's Global Shopping Festival in two phases, with phase one launching from 1 to 3 November, and phase two coming on the big day itself, 11 November.

In a year that has seen nearly every industry take a hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Alibaba's Single's Day success should be viewed as a much-needed boost for retailers.

According to Alibaba:

  • Over 470 brands made more than RMB100 million
  • At peak, Alibaba's digital infrastructure was serving 583,000 orders per second
  • Cainiao Network processed over 2.3 billion deliveries during the 11-day festival 

Another key takeaway from this year will be the importance of livestreaming for marketers. Before the festival began at midnight on 1 November, Alibaba kicked things off with a five-hour livestream on Hunan Satellite Television, Youku and other platforms featuring celebrities and influencers to hype the shopping event. That first phase alone set record numbers for Alibaba with a 400% year-over-year GMV growth and a delivery speed record with the first package arriving 11 minutes after midnight.

By the end of this year's Global Shopping Festival, over 30 livestreaming channels on Taobao Live managed to generate over RMB100 million in GMV.

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Alibaba's Single's Day 2020 shopping festival kicks off early to record numbers