Black Friday, the kick off to the holiday season for brick-and-mortar retailers, has been envied, and then been borrowed and repainted into the Cyber Monday by U.S. etailers. Black Friday in this year recorded more than US$ 1.04 billion in sales, according to comScore. As for Cyber Monday, sales is expected to hit US$1.5 billion.

Eyeing the year-end spending spree across the pacific, Chinese ecommerce giant Taobao caught a whiff of profits and came up with a promoted holiday resembles Cyber Monday dubbed Double-Eleven Day on the date of November 11, aka, the Singles’ Day.

For this year’s Double-Eleven Day, the sheer Taobao/TMall transaction volume crossed the 3 million mark at US$ 3.06 billion, way more than the combined total of its U.S. counterparts. If we add up sales from other Chinese etailers like JingDong Mall (, Suning, Amazon China, Dangdang and so on, the number could be even higher.

To help further compare the year-end spending spree in U.S. and China, we wrapped up some comparisons below based on a piece we came across here.

Internet companies led Chinese ecommerce growth

According to comScore: Amazon, Walmart, Bestbuy, Target and Apple come to be Top 5 sites in term of traffic on the big day. Four physical-stores-turned-etailers and only one e-commerce player. While here on Nov 11, the originator Tmall/Taobao led a ecomm team of 360Buy, Amazon, Dangdang and Suning. Traditional retailers like Carrefour or Walmart didn’t even join the game. Suning might be the only one  represents brick-and-mortar store with an unimpressive less than 7m traffic to its website (Taobao/Tmall got a combined 130m). So generally, in China ecommerce companies are pure Internet companies while in America traditional storefronts ruled online world.

In general, US etailers accounted for over 10% of the whole retail market while in China etailers contributed a barely 5%. That said, leading Chinese etailers’ combined sales is way much more than the combined sales of their U.S. counterparts. Call it the demographic dividends if you wish.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales hit the history record by 26% and 30% yoy growth respectively. As for Double-Eleven, Taobao and Tmall the shining twin totaled $3.06 billion sales with 260% yoy growth.

Mobile Payment Gap

An IBM Benchmark survey found that on Black Friday, 58% of the consumers visited online stores from their smartphones while 41% used tablets. On China’s side, Taobao said that 1 out of 3 of its consumers browsed the site with phones (for last year it’s 1:5).

And when it comes to payment method choice, it seems that Chinese still prefer the good old ways instead of mobile payment. According to data from Alipay, the Chinese equivalent to PayPal by Alibaba, on Double-Eleven Day only RMB 1.2 billion out of its total 20 billion yuan transactions were made through mobile devices. While in the States, on Black Friday 24% of the payments are made on mobile front this year, 10% up yoy. There’s still a long way ahead for Chinese etailers to catch up with.

Apple users spend more than Android users

iOS is remarkably preferred by consumers from both sides, most wireless payment on Black Friday is made through iPhones(8.7%) and iPads(9.8%), only 5.5% on Android devices however. On Double-Eleven, the pie chart of devices goes like 38.9%(iPhone), 17%(iPad), and 17%(Android). Still the iOS group wins out. Also notably, 12% of the consumers go for Wap payment.

Social Enabled

On Black Friday, ecomm traffic through SNS sites like Facebook and Twitter is very slim(0.34% of all), even less than that of last year. As usual, social websites contribute little to American ecommerce market by generating averaged 0.63% of the total traffic. (IBM Benchmark source)

Nevertheless, in China, according to Hitwise, 2.5% of Taobao’s traffic came from Sina Weibo, higher than that from Mogujie and Meilishuo(social shopping sites). Social media especially Weibo is playing a much bigger role in China’s consumer market. This also well explained the Alibaba investing into Sina Weibo rumor.

动点科技驻湾区记者. Charlie is an entrepreneur based in San Francisco and Hong Kong who calls herself the undefeated caffeine champion. You can reach her at charlie.sheng (at)

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