Singles’ Day Sets Global E-Commerce Record
China’s biggest online retail sales day shattered previous records this year, bringing in 9.3 billion dollars.
Singles’ Day—which celebrates single people on November 11, or 11/11, all singles—has grown into a gigantic online shopping day in China, led by the e-commerce giant Alibaba. Sales this year soared past not only previous records for Singles’ Day, but also global records, including the most popular Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales days in the US.
Looking at Alibaba’s history, it had a modest start like most other companies, but the founder’s vision and strong implementation of business ideas led Alibaba to become one of the top names in the online marketplace. Amazon also has been trying to establish a presence in the large Chinese e-commerce market, but Alibaba reigns supreme, with 80 percent of the online market share, while Amazon has just 0.01 percent.
Alibaba set itself apart with measures that helped it succeed specifically in the Chinese e-commerce marketplace, such as a customized marketing effort targeting singles with disposable income, a different payment platform trusted by Chinese consumers, and an e-commerce portal that is backed by its own search engine to drive both B2C and C2C sales.
By 2020, the size of the e-commerce market in China is predicted to be the size of those in the US, Britain, Germany, Japan, and France combined. A consumer base of this scale along with unusually rising peak loads by the year definitely pose challenges for those in the software industry: delivery issues, security, performance and availability of the application, partner integrations, etc.
You want to avoid a situation like what happened with Flipkart in India, for example, when the e-commerce company fumbled its “Big Billion Day” sale in October with technical issues and misleading price information. There are several things to keep in mind to ensure a smooth and fast-performing website on high-volume online shopping days, including content, inventory and delivery methods, and payment systems.
There is a lot of pressure on e-commerce companies to ensure everything—from the shopping experience to site availability to merchant integration to delivery—goes seamlessly as more and more shopping is conducted online. These giant shopping days can make or break online retailers, so the best bet is to do as much testing as possible beforehand.