BEIJING: Singles Day, the annual one-day online sales festival promoted by ecommerce giant Alibaba, is set to break records again this year in terms of both the volume and value of transactions.
Last year saw 467m transactions completed on November 11, and a leading partner of Alibaba's is bracing for a potential 30% increase on that figure, the South China Morning Post reported.
"We are fully prepared for deliveries, even if the deal number breaks through 600m," said Judy Tong, chief executive of Cainiao Network Technology, which handles transaction data on Taobao and Tmall, and coordinates deliveries. It has links with the top 15 delivery firms in China, and currently processes 42m packages a day.
Separately, a securities' analyst has predicted that sales will top 130bn yuan ($19.5bn) on Singles Day.
"This year, we anticipate more brands will have their celebrity endorsers take part in live webcasts of Singles Day marketing campaigns in order to interact directly with consumers," explained Ray Zhao of Guotai Junan Securities.
He added that other media portals owned by Alibaba – such as video platform Youku Tudou – would be able to direct traffic to Taobao to boost transactions.
Analysts also welcomed the internet giant's growing use of data to sell more products, a development that extends beyond the online sphere into bricks and mortar, as Danfeng Li, Alibaba Group's Director of Big Data and Technology, outlined to Warc earlier this year.
Alibaba sees itself as a link between the two sectors: one with an abundance of customer data, and one struggling to fill the gaps.
"The reason we help offline merchants is a lot of brands are born on Alibaba's platform and become so big that they open bricks and mortar stores in the cities, so people can touch and feel their products. And vice versa – a lot of offline businesses want to get online with Alibaba," he explained.
The company has around 20,000 consumer data models based on specific behaviours or demographics, and some of these models have up to one million Chinese customers.
Data sourced from South China Morning Post; additional content by Warc staff