Are your wallets ready for this year's 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, which will happen in three months' time?
Before you splurge and hit the online stores on 11 November , here are some facts about the festival and a quick lookback at last year's event.
The 11.11 shopping festival started on November 11 2009, as an event for merchants and consumers of Tmall.com to raise awareness on the value in online shopping. During that time, only 27 merchants participated in the event.
Some also referred to the shopping festival as "Singles Day Sale" as it falls on the same date on Singles Day in China -- when unmarried people celebrate their singlehood with a special buy. However, it turns out that a mere celebration of singlehood became the world's biggest online shopping event.
Alizila, the news hub of Alibaba, said the e-commerce giant renamed the event to 11.11 Global Shopping Festival in 2013, with participation from more than 20,000 merchants. Last year, it attracted more than 40,000 online sellers with 30,000 local brands and over 16,000 international brands.
According to Chris Tung, Chief Marketing Officer of Alibaba Group: "Alibaba Group single-handedly created the iconic 11.11 shopping festival in China seven years ago to unlock the power of the Chinese consumer."
"Today, 11.11 has become not only a day for China to shop for deals, but truly a festival where people all over China and the world gather to celebrate a new and improved lifestyle, as well as a world of fun and opportunities made possible because of technology - namely the Internet, Mobile, and Big Data," said Tung, in a press release.
In 2015, Alibaba was awarded with Guinness World Records for the highest online sale revenue generated by a single company in 24 hours with US$14.3 billion gross merchandise volume (GMV), a 60 percent year-over-year growth from US$9.3 billion in 2014.
The 24-hour shopping event generated 467 million delivery orders, which needed the help of 1.7 million delivery personnel, 400,000 vehicles, 5,000 warehouses, and 200 airplanes.
Online payment platform, Alipay, had also processed 710 million payment transactions with approximately US$9.8 billion total mobile GMV.
Meanwhile, Alibaba said it will once again host a countdown gala on the eve of 2016 11.11 Global Shopping Festival. The Group will give away four one-minute advertising time slots to consumers, brands, non-profit organisations, and festival participants who have the most creative ad submissions.
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