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11.11 shopping day goes beyond China borders

By Hezi Jiang in New York (China Daily USA) Updated: 2015-11-13 11:37

China's Singles Day shopping spree has moved beyond China.

Advertisements for the Wednesday sales event were shown on a huge screen in New York City's Times Square, and the New York Stock Exchange President Thomas Farley went to China to ring the exchange's opening bell in celebration of the annual event started by Alibaba in 2009. And this year a long list of foreign brands and retailers joined the world's biggest online shopping event.

An Alibaba video entitled 2015 11.11 Global Shopping Festival Highlights showed a worker sealing a Macy's plastic shopping bag, fresh cranberries made into Ocean Spray Craisins and packaged Australian lamb being transported to Alibaba's warehouse.

Big international retailers like US-based Macy's opened online shops on Alibaba's Tmall, allowing Chinese shoppers to purchase certain goods with no payment or language barrier.

Alibaba said they featured more than 6 million products from nearly 40,000 merchants and 30,000 brands in 25 countries this year.

JD.com, Alibaba's smaller competitor, said in a press release that international brands continued to gain in popularity among their shoppers, including top sellers such as Apple, Samsung, Adidas, New Balance, Columbia, North Face, Philips, Nestle, Mead Johnson and Wyeth, among others.

"JD Worldwide, JD.com's platform for imported goods, saw an increase in sales orders of 366 percent compared with its October average. Top selling products on the platform for the day were milk powder and diapers, and products from the US Mall and Japan Mall, both launched in 2015, proved most popular for shoppers on the company's growing list of country-specific foreign mall platforms," said the press release.

11.11 shopping day goes beyond China borders

Not all foreign brands are opening stores on Chinese e-commerce sites. Some US-based shops and retailers used Alibaba's Singles Day event to offer Chinese shoppers in the US with promotions. Dealmoon, an online site based in China and the US, featured promotions from seven major US department stores and more than 130 international brands, including an 11 percent discount site-wide at New York-based Bergdorf Goodman, 15 percent off at Saks Fifth Avenue, and 20 percent at Clinique and Kiehl's.

According to Dealmoon, it had more than 3 million visitors on Nov 11 and 12. "From what we hear from the brands, the sales would likely to be five times last year's," said Jennifer Wang, head of marketing.

"We broke both our order record and sales record in the past two days. We have topped $1.5 million," said Zhou You, CEO of Yamibuy, an online retailer targeting Chinese immigrants and students in the US. This is its third year of Singles Day sales. Zhou said that food, skincare and cosmetics made up most of the sales, while sales of appliances and health-related products have grown.

Alibaba also pushed its electronic payments system Alipay with help from its retail partners Shoprunner and Borderfree and promotions on Dealmoon. Now Chinese shoppers can check out with Alipay on dozens of international online shops, including Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus, GNC, Cole Haan, and Diapers.com.

Wang believes the Singles Day shopping phenomenon will grow in the US. "It may become the biggest shopping day of high-end luxury products, skincare, and cosmetics, and Black Friday can move further toward electronics and the rest," she said.

hezijiang@chinadailyusa.com

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