Alibaba says Singles' Day sales hit 91.2 billion yuan in first hour

Taylor Swift whose latest album

Taylor Swift whose latest album"Lover has broken records in China will headline this year's opening gala alongside local celebrities like Jackson Yee

A year ago on Singles' Day NZ Post delivered nearly three parcels a second, but despite the commercial success of the shopping day, here and around the world, many Kiwis still don't know what it is.

Sales during China's Singles' Day, or 11.11 or Double 11, are traditionally larger than sales at the U.S. Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

Alibaba Group BABA.N will kick off its annual 24-hour shopping extravaganza on Monday with deals and deep discounts galore, and a performance by American popstar Taylor Swift to top it all, as it pushes to rake in another record Singles' Day sales.

Singles Day the world's largest shopping event as announced its sales hit $25.4 billion this weekend. It is now considered a significant event in the global retail calendar.

Alibaba saw sales worth $30 billion on its platforms on Singles' Day a year ago, dwarfing $7.9 billion USA online sales for Cyber Monday. It also projects 50 million online buyers in Southeast Asia alone during Singles' Day.

This figure is down from previous year, when 76 per cent of Kiwis said they had not heard of the shopping festival.

11, is not just for the Chinese anymore.

The company says it expects more than 500 million people to participate in the 2019 version of the shopping festival.

This year, the event generated $123 million of gross merchandise value for Lazada, representing a 171 percent increase since last year's Singles Day.

The popularity of Singles' Day is fantastic news for New Zealand businesses - including NZ Post.

Alibaba clocked US$30.8 billion ($48b) worth of sales on Singles' Day past year, dwarfing the US online sales for Cyber Monday (US$7.9b).

For this year's Singles' Day, Forrester forecasts Alibaba will generate $37 billion in GMV, or a 20.5% jump compared to 2018. "That's an average of nearly three parcels a second". Previous year we delivered over 14.5 million parcels during November and December. After years of steep growth, last year, the number reached 213.5 billion yuan.

This year's Thanksgiving weekend will likely bring about another record in US e-commerce history, but it won't come close to matching China's largest shopping extravaganza.