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Tmall and Taobao See $3 Billion in Sales During China’s 24-Hour Online Shopfest

Steven Millward
Steven Millward
11:36 am on Nov 12, 2012

We recently suggested that China’s biggest e-commerce sales/discounts day could beat America’s Cyber Monday in value – and that’s precisely what happened during yesterday’s “Double Eleven” online shopfest. Indeed, two of China’s biggest sites, Tmall and Taobao (both owned by Alibaba Group), beat out all US e-tailers by themselves, seeing sales transactions worth RMB 19.1 billion (US$3.043 billion) during the 24-hour promotional period.

That makes Tmall and Taobao’s Double Eleven sales worth more than double America’s entire Cyber Monday shopping spree, which brought in $1.25 billion in 2011. With Cyber Monday in the US growing at only about 22 percent per year, it’s unlikely that the next one, on November 26th, will see American consumers outspend their Chinese counterparts.

Back in 2011, Taobao and Tmall brought in $830 million in sales transactions on that special shopping day, so the two sites saw that figure grow by just over 360 percent.

Alibaba said this morning that it saw more merchants than ever take part on the sales day, with even major brands like Nike and Uniqlo offering discounts on their Tmall virtual stores. This year, a total of 10,000 sellers on Alibaba’s sites joined in the action, up from 2,200 last year. [UPDATED: Here are a couple of extra stats from Alibaba related to m-commerce purchases yesterday]:

The ratio of Taobao users using PC to those using Taobao Mobile on November 11th was 3:1, and the ratio from last year was 5:1. In the first hour, nearly 7 million registered users logged onto their Taobao Mobile app and reached RMB 100 million in transaction volume. Taobao Mobile hit RMB 940 million [$149.8 million] in transaction volume [in whole 24-hour period].

Of course, all of China’s top e-commerce sites took part in the event, with sales of up to 50 percent on some items, and a host of other offers and gimmicks. But other major sites in the country have not revealed sales figures for the full day, making it hard to piece together exactly how much was spent online during yesterday’s Double Eleven. Tmall’s closest rival in the B2C market, 360Buy, has not yet given any clues as to its performance, while the electronics retailer Suning (SHE:002024) revealed only that it got nearly three million orders and saw twenty times more sales this year than last.

51Buy, which is a much smaller Amazon-esque site, was a bit more forthcoming with its stats and said that RMB 50 million ($7.97 million) worth of stuff was sold up to 4pm yesterday, which was up 630 percent on its performance the year before. The online shopfest ran to midnight, so 51Buy will reveal updated figures later.

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