Alibaba has been the past few days the most discussed issue in the retail business world. Whereas Amazon's quaterly results raises doubts, the Chinese company experienced a tremendous success with its IPO, and has also breaken a sales record:
On November 11th, on a single day, it generated $5,75 billions in sales.
What is very impressive to me, is not that Alibaba is able to beat Amazon or Walmart for a promotion day, but more about its ability to have created this new promotion day.
Indeed, nowadays, it is very rare to see a retailer creating some really new sales event that can skyrocket sales. Most of retailers are actually fighting on the same days: Christmas, Easter, Black Friday, Halloween... And one of the only technique used to beat the competition is to start the season sooner than its competitors, which leads to weird things, like Christmas sales way before Thanksgiving day...
The ability of Alibaba to have created by its own this new day is to me something very relevant, that shows how strong the e-merchant is, how a serious competitor it will be once entering the European and US markets.
The concept of November the 11th, on 11/11, because of all the 1 in the dates, Alibaba celebrates single people , with sales designed for them. The goal is to be an anti St Valentine's day. I don't know if the success is based on the multiplication of single person household, but the sales really works, and I believe, as no other competitors is yet big on it, allowed Alibaba to have a strong communication plan of its own to generate so huge sales.
As the event also is pretty new, what is remarkable is how they are excellent in execution, because trust me, not to be out of stock when you see this success, that means you need to have forecasted well your quantities purchased, the supply chain and warehouse management, and also your online traffic.
Well done, Alibaba.