People who frequent TechNode, you probably also read upon Hacker News a loooot, right? Anything interesting you noticed over there over the past couple days?

You would’ve watched a group of geeks across the pacific enthusiastically web chatting and digging from the inside out about the stellar transaction volume of two Chinese ecommerce sites – Taobao and TMall to be exact.

The new world record in online shopping

They were talking about the annual Chinese online shopping carnival on November 11, during which day Taobao (an eBay-like marketplace) and Tmall (a B2C platform) totaled RMB 19.1 billion (approx. 3.06 billion US dollar), making the number a new world record. Previously the record belongs to the 2011 “Cyber Monday” in the US, where total sales was $1.25bn according to comScore’s statistics.

And what else intrigued the geeks? Well, these threads, here and here (let’s just ignore the slightly ‘unpleasant’ part as such stuff comes along with almost anything labeled China) might help explain a little bit –

  • Total sales: 19.1 billion RMB
  • In the first 1 minute, 10m people had visited Tmall
  • Top 5 provinces by #sales: Zhejiang, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Beijing
  • 1hr after the promotion opened, the first package was received.
  • After 12 hours, 109 stores had made more than 10m RMB sales.
  • The two biggest mens clothing brands : Jack & Jones and GXG
  • Tmall made 13.2bn RMB, taobao made 5.9bn RMB
  • There were 213m registered accounts were active on this day (40% of China’s internet users)
  • 105m orders – av. order value of 180RMB
  • 3 stores made more than 100m RMB on the day.
  • There were 7m mobile accounts active in the first 1 hour.

By 2pm, 520m RMB of sales had been made via the mobile interface.

(numbers according to the post by Chris West from Westiseast)

Just like what geeks claimed in the comments, this would be a big tech challenge to Taobao. Yet they made it.

According to the largest ecommerce service in China, when clock struck twelve that day, 10 million users jumped onto Tmall within just 1 minute. It took Taobao/Tmall only 10 minutes to reach RMB 250 million transactions, another 27 minutes to RMB 1 billion. At 8:16 a.m. on November 11, it hit RMB 5 billion, and then RMB 7.9 billion by 11 in the morning.

Some popular Tmall stores even recorded RMB 100 million sales that day.

Overshadowing the peers

The Taobao brothers are very eye-catching, and even overshadowed its peers. For example, 360buy and Suning all prepared for the big sales day months beforehand: partnering with merchants, mapping out marketing strategy and collaborating with couriers. However, a majority of that day’s shopping traffic flooded to Taobao/Tmall.

360buy: Still remember the price war on August 15th of this year when 360buy has attracted much attention? This time 360buy reacted in a moderate way. Though discounts were offered, the prices were not as low as that of Tmall. But 360buy launched the promotion 1 day before Tmall.

As of now, 360buy hasn’t revealed the final result for this year’s November 11 sales.

Suning: Similar to 360buy, Suning launched the promotion ahead of the schedule. Compared with Tmall’s media hype, Suning was kinda quiet. An EVP of Suning handed out the score card: 2.956 million orders have been made in three days (over November 9 – 11).

51Buy (Tencent) : As a former 3C-centric etailer, 51Buy which now controlled by Tencent mainly focusd on 3C digital products and home appliances over a three-day-long sales. 51buy, on the other hand, made much effort to improve delivering efficiencies since the sales is both a boon and curse to Chinese couriers. A typical story from last year’s “the November 11 Day” is that, some people couldn’t get their items ordered on November 11 till around the end of December, well just took it as a Xmas gift then.

She reads, travels, photographs and writes, with interests in chronicling China tech scene and interpreting how technology disrupts the way people live.

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