SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd paid a record of 213.5 billion yuan ($ 30.70 billion yuan) on Sunday sales during its 24-hour online retail frenzy Singles Day but The annual growth rate of the event dropped to its slowest ever price.
Shoppers in China and across the globe picked up hot items, including iPhones, furniture and milk powder that started before dawn, with Alibaba recording about $ 10 billion in revenue during the first hour after midnight.
Singles Day, also called "Double 11", is the world's largest online sales event, which exceeds the sales of the American shopping weekend Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.
The Chinese event was originally a news student vacation to celebrate being single, counter Valentine's Day, but since then it has grown into a month-long online shopping festival that tops a 24-hour sale on November 11th.
This year, the company exceeded last year's sales record of 168 billion yuan in just under sixteen hours.
Despite the record rise, annual sales growth fell from 39 percent to 27 percent, in low analysis analyzes and the lowest interest rate in the event's 10-year history.
It's as if the company bothered with a narrower sales outlook among rising US trade tensions that have taken a bit of China's economy.
Earlier this month, sales outlook for the full year was revised by 4-6 percent, which sent further cooling through the company's share price, which has fallen about 16 percent this year after almost doubled in 2017.
In order to compensate, the company will collect smaller commissions from its platforms in the short term to keep brands and attract new buyers, said it.
Sales growth online also slows down across the country's eastern mega cities, including Shanghai and Beijing, and Alibaba said that about 75 percent of new users last quarter were in less developed areas.
Small appliances and cosmetics were strong on Sunday, but sales in large ticket items, including large appliances, declined along with a decline in the housing market, Vice President Joe Tsai told Alibaba.
"If people do not buy new homes, they do not buy appliances," he said.
BIGGER AND BIGGER
Despite the milder growth, the managers were optimal on Sunday at a press event in Shanghai, with about 800 journalists watching a live-stream ticker of sales.
"Today, we reached 200 billion yuan, but we have to change. We must continue to change to reach 300 billion or 500 billion," said Daniel Zhang, CEO, who is credited with being the architect of the original Singles Day sale .
Alibaba kicked off this year's sale with a gala event that featured the American singer Mariah Carey, a Japanese Beyonce impersonator and a Cirque du Soleil performance.
It is expected to be the company's final November sales with founder and chairman Jack Ma at the helm, and Zhang will take over as chairman next year, the company said in September.
During the year's event, the company said it worked with 180,000 brands across 200 countries, and just before midnight on Sunday it had sent over one billion packages.
A disproportionately large number of sales are recorded in the first few minutes of 24-hour expenses when transactions occur for items that have been put into operation.
The company settled approximately $ 1 billion within the first one minute and twenty five seconds after midnight.
Analysts said sales continue to be cannibalized by competing events, including the "618" Festival featured by Alibaba competitor JD.com Inc. in June.
"With an increasing number of marketing events one year, consumers no longer feel that Double 11 is the only opportunity to get good bargains," said Pedro Yip, partner of consulting company Oliver Wyman.
"Having said that, there are more consumers who still like to shop at double 11 than those who do not," he said. ($ 1 = 6.9553 yuan)
Reporting of Cate Cadell; Editing by Nick Macfie and Alexandra Hudson