Singles’ Day Orders From Europe Helped Alibaba Smash Sales Records

Alibaba smashed Singles’ Day sales records this year with help from an aggressive push into European and other foreign markets.

Alibaba notched sales worth more than $74 billion in gross merchandise value during the event, or nearly double last year’s take, PYMNTS has reported.

The bigger winnings for the Chinese online shopping behemoth came alongside the extension of Singles’ Day this year from a one-day event on Nov. 11 to also include Nov. 1 through Nov. 3.

Also helping to rack up sales for Alibaba was a decision to funnel extra support and resources for this year’s event into AliExpress, Alibaba’s online shopping platform for customers in Europe and other overseas sectors.

In an interview with CNBC, Li Dawei, head of AliExpress Supply Chai, said that AliExpress was able to boost resources allocated to logistics operations by a factor of five for this year’s Singles’ Day shopping festival.

In order to make deliveries to customers in Europe and other markets outside China, AliExpress Supply teamed up with Cainiao, the logistics arm of Alibaba, as well as local delivery outfits.

In maybe the most dramatic example of Alibaba’s push into European markets, Dawei told the cable news network that the online shopping giant and its subsidiaries chartered 100 freight flights to the continent during the Singles’ Day shopping event. That amounted to roughly seven flights a day, Dawei said.

The big Singles’ Day delivery drive also comes as AliExpress’ European logistics operations have seen a marked improvement in efficiency. The company claims to have slashed delivery times to customers in France and Spain by 30 percent, reducing the wait time to 10 working days for some products, the company told CNBC.

AliExpress is also investing in a network of European warehouses, which will give it the ability to pre-stock goods and other items. That could further reduce delivery times to three days for orders from France, Spain and Poland and seven days for other European countries, according to the cable news network.