ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Industry Dive acquired Mobile Commerce Daily in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates, may not have migrated over. Check out our topic page for the latest mobile commerce news.

Alibaba Group generates $7B GMV in two hours, with 84pc garnered via mobile

As a part of its Global Shopping Festival, Alibaba celebrated a massive boon of over $7 billion gross merchandise volume (GMV), all settled through its Alipay payment platform.

The news comes on the heels of news that HTC is expanding the scope of its Vive virtual reality platform with the debut of a virtual Alibaba store. The two developments evince a stalwart dedication to mcommerce on the part of the Chinese retail giant, which is attempting to expand its reach outside of national boundaries into Amazon’s territory.

“The Alibaba Group, demonstrates once again, the power of their shopping platform by setting a one day sales record of almost US$18B in transactions on November 11, what is known as Singles Day (the opposite of Valentine’s Day essentially),” said Marci Troutman, CEO of Siteminis. “The four 1’s in the date are significant!”

Global Shopping Festival
Alibab’s Global Shopping Festival, which is held on November 11, began in 2009 with participation from just 27 merchants as an event for merchants and consumers to raise awareness of the value in online shopping. Since then, it has become a global event with participating merchants in the tens of thousands, buyers in the millions, total sales in the billions and celebrity appearances from the likes of Kobe Bryant, David Beckham and Scarlett Johansson.

When the event kicked off at 12am China time, the ensuing highlights included a glut of sales settled through Alipay exceeding $1 billion in the first five minutes, with the number growing to $5.2 billion within the hour and $7.2 billion in two hours.

And, in a stunning turn for even an online retail company, Alibaba reported that 84 percent of GMV was settled through Alipay’s mobile client, indicative of a lightning-quick shift to mobile shopping with both customers of Alibaba and the Chinese consumer at-large.

Alibaba has also partnered with HTC to release Buy+, a mobile app geared towads use with VR-compatible smartphones that allows users to view and buy products in virtual stores. HTC claims that it is the first mass-demonstration of a “complete VR shopping experience.”

Mobile retail
It should be no surprise to know that Alibaba considers this year’s Global Shopping Festival to be a massive success, in part due to the event’s progress over time: Chinese consumers ended up purchasing more in the first hour of this year’s Global Shopping Festival than in 24 hours in 2013. Alipay’s increased availability through greater mobile uptake no doubt played a large role.

The event as a whole is conspicuously Chinese in character, and is evidence of the cultural ramifications of China’s hyperkinetic economy. The elevation of living standards across the country has come hand in hand with a pervasiveness of consumer culture that ratifies the ethos of events such as the Global Shopping Festival.

“An amazing 47 million users participated in this Singles Day Global Festival by buying goods from many international brands,” said Ms. Troutman. “Over 80 percent of these transactions occurred through online activity and mobile accounted for 80% of these ecommerce transactions.

“A real demonstration of digital scale by Alibaba and it’s platform that had an IPO a little over 2 years ago, as well as the pay portal Allpay.

“In the global economy, mobile has shown to be the most important pathway of consumer access to goods and services in the digital age. Alibaba has created the marketplace, the method and the means for easy flow of products, payments and delivery to take advantage of the global reach between brands and consumers that mobile devices have created.”