This year on “Singles Day,” Alibaba showed the world yet again how companies can make billions off a clever marketing ploy in a matter of few hours.
Sales hit a staggering $7.86 billion (£5.2 billion) just 10 hours into the 24-hour event while making $1 billion within the first eight minutes.
“It's like an explosion — in one day they get as many orders as they normally would in one month,” Cao Lei, head of the China e-Business Research Center in the city of Hangzhou, told ABC News. "The delivery companies need to work overtime to send all this. Alibaba has now built a network so people who pay online can then go to a local shop and pick it up."
Recommended: How To Become A Billionaire In 6 Easy Steps
Singles Day falls on Nov. 11. It started as a joke between university students as an "anti-Valentine's Day" in China. However, Alibaba turned it into the world's biggest online retail sales day in 2009 and it is now rightfully known as the “11.11 shopping festival.”
They've hit record sales over the last several years, each year getting better than before.
Last year, the e-commerce giant made $9.3 billion during the 24-hour period. It was a 60% increase from 2013.
“At each 11.11, Alibaba’s infrastructure is put to the test and our technological capabilities are taken to the next level,” said Daniel Zhang, chief executive officer of Alibaba Group. “Last year, we handled a record-breaking 80,000 orders at peak per second at peak. This year, we expect to handle 120,000 orders and 60,000 payments at peak per second. It will be a proud achievement for us.”
Considering the company made a billion dollars just eight minutes into the day, Alibaba can easily break its last year’s record before the day ends.