Singles Day bonanza, even Frank Underwood wants in

kevin spacey

E-commerce giant Alibaba, the company that made Singles Day the world’s biggest shopping event, broke its own record today by beating last year’s full-day total in half the time. It was helped by some heavyweight celebrity endorsement, including Kevin Spacey also in his House of Cards President Frank Underwood persona.

“Here at the White House, there are so many firewalls blocking me from shopping online that not even the president will be able to take advantage of those amazing deals,” he said in a video message.

But that was just the icing on the cake because frankly, Singles Day doesn’t need the publicity boost. Already way bigger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined, just look at the figures:

  • Alibaba shoppers spent over $9.3bn twice as fast as they did on the same day in 2014.
  • More than $1bn was spent within eight minutes of midnight.
  • Shoppers spent $3.9bn in the first hour, double last year’s rate.
  • Nearly three-quarters of transactions came from mobile devices during the first hour.
  • 120,000 orders were placed per minute.

Market research firm IDC is predicting a full-day spend of $13.7bn, more than 50% up on 2014.

National TV in China showed a live countdown to midnight and Alibaba signed up some other impressive celebs to promote the event in addition to Kevin Spacey.Think man-of-the-moment Daniel Craig/James Bond, Taiwanese singer Jolin Tsai and Korean superstars Rain and CNBlue.

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