China’s Singles Day was the biggest e-commerce event in history

The figures are simply staggering. Alibaba consumers spent an astounding $14.3 billion on Singles Day, the biggest online shopping day in the world, held every year on 11th November.

By the close of trading, spending just under $15 billion in one day marked a 60 per cent increase from last year.

It took just 11 hours and 50 minutes for consumers to surpass Alibaba’s 2014 sales.

To put it in perspective – as if any was needed – Alibaba’s total Singles Day sales added up to more than Facebook’s revenue for the whole of 2014 ($12.47 billion).

 

Mobile was the big winner

Just as the overall figure is mind-boggling, the breakdown of those figures is even more incredible. Of those $10 billion, Alibaba says $9.8 billion was spent via mobile. Let that just sink in – Alibaba consumers could have bought Square two times over at its current valuation.

The total number of mobile buyers was 70 million, more than the whole of the UK population. Alibaba said that 27 million mobile purchases came in just the first hour.

 

Alibaba’s mobile strategy is paying off

These sales numbers will be welcomes by Alibaba (obviously) because it shows the company’s heavy investment in mobile being rewarded. Back in January, when the e-commerce giant published underwhelming earnings for the final quarter of 2014, its CFO, Maggie Wu said that the company’s mobile strategy was going to have some “near-term growing pains.”

However, the pains went away pretty quickly as by end of the first fiscal quarter of 2015, mobile accounted for more than half of the company’s total GMV.

But this was the most effective way of showing that the company’s heavy investment in mobile has paid off.

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