Amazon Prime Day Sees ‘Record’ Shopping (Just Don’t Compare to Alibaba’s Singles’ Day)

Who sold it better — Alibaba, during 2016 Singles’ Day or Amazon, during today’s Prime Day?

With respect to Amazon’s ‘record levels’ of shoppers today, according to company statements, Alibaba’s Singles’ Day is probably going to stay on top — despite Amazon shoppers acting like this, at least according to Twitter:

Singles’ Day (which, like Prime, is a day of massive deals and discounts for customers shopping on Alibaba’s e-commerce platforms) has become possibly the biggest online shopping holiday in the world.

During last year’s November 11 sales event, Alibaba generated about $18 billion USD in sales, $7 billion of which was generated within the first two hours.

The $18 billion shattered records for both Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the U.S. (not to mention Alibaba’s previous record sales for 2015), and the odds seem favorable that the $18 billion generated in 2016 will dwarf Amazon’s sales today.

It’s worth noting that this $18 billion would represent about 10% of Amazon’s total revenue for 2016, which was about $136 billion USD. It is also noteworthy that Singles’ Day is an event open to all comers, while Amazon Prime Day is only open to its focus consumer base — Prime members.

Alipay, the subsidiary payment service of Alibaba, saw a billion transactions on Singles’ Day. It’s not clear how many people will end up using Amazon Pay on Prime Day — we’re looking into it.

Of course, that’s not to say Prime Day isn’t lucrative for Amazon.  Typically, the e-commerce giant will sign new Prime members during the sale simply because shoppers want to take advantage of deals.

While it has yet to release numbers for today’s sales yet—except to say that Amazon shoppers are shopping at “record levels” — millions of customers have already shopped on the platform, and it is only the middle of the day. Stay tuned for numbers later in the week.

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