Forget Black Friday, Singles Day is the world's biggest shopping event



Alibaba, the giant Chinese e-retailer that promoted the day as an opportunity-or excuse-for single people to treat themselves with new purchases, has seen its revenues on Nov. 11 grow from $100 million in 2009 to 250 times that in 2017, $25 billion. Singles Day dwarfs the three other largest online retail mega-events. The third, Amazon's Prime Day, in 2017 took in $100 million an hour-but Alibaba raked in 10 times that amount on Singles Day that year. Retailers around the world are seeking to take advantage of this growing Chinese economic power, offering their own Singles Day deals and even seeking to expand the day into a longer festival: Alibaba is keeping its discounts going for 48 hours, and its main Chinese competitor, JD.com, began an 11-day festival from Nov. 1 to Nov. 11 with a set of limited-time discounts that grossed $865 million in its first hour. JD.com teamed up with Tencent-another Chinese e-commerce behemoth-and Walmart to offer one another's customers the same special deals on Singles Day 2017. In 2018, Alibaba subsidiary Lazada is offering Singles Day sales in six Southeast Asian countries. Singles Day's spread across the world suggests a new chapter of computer-enhanced shopping experiences is beginning. read more...