The Alibaba 11/11 Singles Sale 2016 smashed the 2015 sales record. The Chinese e-commerce giant recorded sales of $17.7 billion, surpassing the 2015 record of $14.3 billion. According to Jack Ma, the founder and chairman of Alibaba, the end game for the 11/11 sales is to re-invent and digitize retail. From the looks of things Jack Ma’s plan is set on the right path. What started as a Chinese ‘specials day’ has turned into a Global phenomena.
The 11/11 was just downright crazy. With discounts of up to 90% off one could not help but get something. The sale is definitely something worth planning for. More or less like the new year’s day or even Christmas. It is more than just a consumers day to get some cheap, cool stuff. Re-sellers are actually poised to benefit more from the 11/11.
The biggest online shopping event
While virtually unknown is the US, Alibaba has become a global phenomena. This year’s shopping gala proved this. The e-commerce giant even organised a star-studded celebrity lineup with the likes of Hollywood producer David Hill, known for his work on the Oscars, Super Bowl and American Idol. His job, to produce the Alibaba live 4 hour event. Katy Perry, Kobe Bryant and One Republic are some of the celebrity figures that graced the event. The event was live streamed in China and other parts of the world with Forbes live-blogging from the event for the US market.
What Africa should learn
E-commerce is no longer just another sales channel. With an ever increasing internet penetration rate, more and more customers are spending their time online. Locals need to embrace the marketing and brand-building potential that e-commerce offers. Branding and marketing is no longer about sales alone. It has evolved to having consumers interact with brands, building relationships with online customers.
It is still very frustrating to be walking in the streets of Harare and stumble across a 50% Bata sale that one could have learnt about weeks back. There just does not seem to be enough online presence locally. Even the large entities still rely on the traditional walk into shop principle.