Alibaba’s $30 billion Singles Day helps power UK brands including Dyson, Jaguar Land Rover

Gadgets, Retail

Forget Black Friday. Alibaba’s Singles’ Day is the biggest online sales day and this year it helped power UK brands as sales topped $30 billion.

The Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s Singles’ Day sales soared to £23.81 billion ($30bn) last Sunday (November 11th). And the international delivery company ParcelHero says the strong demand for quality products means UK brands profited significantly from the world’s largest shopping day.

British brands enjoying a Singles’ Day bonanza included Dyson with its range of upmarket domestic appliances and Burberry which sold a £230 limited edition woollen scarf sold exclusively on Alibaba’s Tmall platform. 

Even luxury British car brand Jaguar-Land Rover sold nearly 100 cars through Alibaba’s local Taobao stores in an advance Singles Day promotion.

Says ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks:

“Alibaba’s Singles’ Day sales shot up 27% on Sunday compared with 2017, and Alibaba’s main Chinese rival JD.Com also reported a record £17.83bn for its own extended event. The early results show it was quality items that sold in larger numbers than ever before; and that’s great news for UK manufacturers and retailers taking part in the event.”

Chinese e-commerce and technology giant Alibaba has unveiled its latest project – a robotic waiter used to carry items around hotels.
Called the Space Egg, the small autonomous ‘bot, pictured above, is a curved shell on wheels that uses lasers and cameras to navigate hotel corridors and can carry items between rooms and other parts of the hotel. The robot works with Tmall Genie, Alibaba’s virtual assistant which is integrated into its smart speakers. The Tmall Genie will be placed in hotel rooms, enabling guests to order items and then have them delivered by the bot.

According to Jinks the move upmarket amongst Chinese consumers was noticeable:

“For the first time Apple’s iPhones were the top-selling mobiles on Singles’ Day, beating bargain Chinese rivals such as Huawei and Xiaomi. That underlines the perceptible switch by Chinese consumers towards high quality brands over cheaper products which paved the way for British sales successes.”

Nor were Chinese online retailers the only winners. Concludes Jinks:

“Brands from River Island to Nike, Zavvi and ASOS have all embraced Singles’ Day here in the UK and helped make it a new red-letter day on shoppers’ calendars.”


Chris Price
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