Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba set a sales record on Singles Day, the world’s largest 24-hour shopping event.
Gross merchandise value, a figure that shows sales across Alibaba’s shopping platforms, surpassed last year’s 213.5 billion yuan record (nearly $30.5 billion) on Monday afternoon local time and kept rising through the rest of the day.
At the end of the event, GMV stood at 268.4 billion yuan, just under a 26% rise from the figure posted last year. That’s a slower growth rate than the 27% seen on last year’s Singles Day. In dollar terms, the GMV figure was around $38.3 billion.
It was the 11th edition of the annual Singles Day event — also called the Double 11 shopping festival because it falls on Nov. 11. During the 24-hour period, which began at midnight in Singapore and Hong Kong, Alibaba offered huge discounts across its e-commerce sites such as Tmall.
Alibaba’s Singles Day sales last year exceeded the spending by consumers during any single U.S. shopping holiday such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
To help boost sales, Hangzhou-based Alibaba expanded the number of discounted items in this year’s event and put a heavy emphasis on livestreaming via its platforms to help sell goods. Livestreaming has become a big part of the shopping experience on Chinese e-commerce sites.
Online personalities often speak to their followers and talk about products as well. On Wednesday, Kim Kardashian did a livestream announcing her fragrance brand KKW will be available for sale on Tmall.