Mobile commerce at Taobao breaks shopping records

taobao mobile commerce

The company managed to bring in sales of over $100 million in under an hour.

After only one day into the annual Single’s Day sale in China, Taobao – the leading online commerce marketplace in the country – shattered all previous mobile commerce records, having brought in $164 million (RMB 1 billion) from over 14 million user accounts within the span of under one hour.

By the time that 7:35am had been reached, they’d brought in $328 million in smartphone based purchases.

In China, November 11, which is also known as Single’s Day, is recognized as the largest shopping day in the entire year. For a full period of 24 hours, there are sales from retailers of all sizes across the entire country. As smartphones have become extremely widespread across the country, it has meant that mobile commerce has started to play a very large role on this day.

taobao mobile commerceThe tremendous mobile commerce influx is a direct reflection of the smartphone adoption of the Chinese consumer.

Last year, in the full 24 hour period of Single’s Day, the entire mobile commerce based income was $158 million. This year, that record was beaten within the first hour. It is estimated that by the time the day came to a close, the total revenue from the day was likely between five and ten times greater than it had been last year. It is likely that the amount was nearer to the higher end of that range.


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In 2012, the total sales that were brought in through the third party payment system at Alibaba, Alipay, the total brought in on Single’s Day had been $3.1 million (RMB 19.1 billion). This year, however, the total for the full day is estimated to be somewhere between $4.9 billion and $8.2 billion (RMB 30 billion and RMB 50 billion).

Alibaba is the owner of Taobao and is the primary player that is in charge of creating what is now becoming the Chinese version of “Black Friday”. That said, as the adoption of mobile commerce among consumers is considerably greater in China than it is in the United States, it means that smartphones are playing a much larger and more important role on this day.

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