World’s biggest shopping event ‘DOUBLE 11: 4,000 planes, 3 million workers wait for record demand amid pandemic

China’s Singles Day or double 11, an unofficial holiday on Wednesday, 11 November is the world’s biggest 24-hour online shopping event.

Last year, 1.9 billion products were ordered and delivered.

Three million workers, assisted by 4,000 planes and ships are waiting for the demand to break new records amid the pandemic.

Robot cleaners, vacuums and toolboxes are all expected to be popular.

However, luxury brands are also hoping to get a boost, as millions of Chinese who have been unable to travel overseas on shopping trips go online for what experts are dubbing “revenge spending”.

“We anticipate ongoing international restrictions will cause a meaningful shift in Chinese consumers buying luxury online,” said Michael Norris, at market research firm Agency China, an e-commerce consultancy based in Shanghai.

“Luxury brands have also risen to the occasion, with an estimated doubling in the number of luxury brands participating in Singles Day.”

The shopping festival was originally created by online retailer Alibaba.

Alibaba’s online shopping rival runs a similar event but Alibaba’s Singles Day is bigger in terms of goods sold and revenue.

Last year, the gross merchandise value reached more than US$ 31 billion double that of Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined, with sales hitting US$ 1 billion in a little over one minute of trading.

This year, Singles Day kicked off early with an online selling spree between 1 – 3 November to cater to the growing demand from Chinese consumers.

Wednesday will feature more than 350,000 local and international brands and even includes cars and houses for sale.

‘No Human Contact’

Cainiao, the logistics arm of Alibaba, said it is using more than 3,000 chartered flights and long-haul cargo ships to bring goods into China.

Meanwhile, a total of three million people across Cainiao and its partners will be involved in the logistics globally at warehouses and ports.

It will also be using more than 10,000 mobile lockers to allow customers to pick-up parcels without human contact.