Singles Day 2019 rakes in US$1bn in first minute

Singles Day 2019: Alibaba's shopping day bigger than Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday combined

Singles' Day on 11/11 marks the busiest online shopping event of the year

Alibaba began promoting Singles' Day as another day for love in 2009.

Alibaba Group BABA.N will kick off its annual 24-hour shopping extravaganza on Monday with deals and deep discounts galore, and a performance by American popstar Taylor Swift to top it all, as it pushes to rake in another record Singles' Day sales.

Alibaba clocked US$30.8 billion ($48b) worth of sales on Singles' Day past year, while New Zealand retailers that participated in the event made millions of dollars in revenue from online sales.

Originally conceived by young people celebrating the joy of being single, November 11 (11.11. - each digit representing a single person) has evolved into a huge shopping event, with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba particularly successful in marketing the occasion.

This year, more than 200,000 brands are participating, Alibaba said.

Daraz Group, owned by Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd, first brought 11.11 to South Asia past year and is gearing up again with celebrations in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Nepal.

Alibiba's Singles Day isn't just an online shopping festival but also a high-on-glamour affair.

"While Black Friday and Cyber Monday still dominate the online shopping days in New Zealand, we're expecting Singles' Day this year to be bigger than ever as Kiwi consumers and e-tailers jump on the bandwagon", Dobson said. In November and December it delivered a total of 14.5 million parcels.

A new record is expected again this year, despite a slowing economy partly due to the US-China trade war.

More Kiwis were spending and shopping online more often, with shopping holidays such as Singles' Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday becoming a "major factor" in online shopping habits, a recent NZ Post report found. After years of steep growth, last year, the number reached 213.5 billion yuan.

Chinese consumers will spend 54% more this year than in 2018, but 78% said they would think twice about buying US products due to loyalty to their country, AlixPartners found in a recent survey of more than 2,000 Chinese consumers.

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