LONDON | Worldpay saw the number of online transactions it processed during China Singles Day soar by a huge 455% compared to the same day the week before. The 11th of November has clearly become the biggest shopping day in global retail. Alibaba - China's biggest e-commerce site - reported $9.3 billion in revenue last Tuesday, a 62 percent surge from last year's previous record of $5.75 billion.
In 24 hours during this year’s China Singles Day, Worldpay reported just over 3 million online transactions, which equates to 127,376 per hour and 2,123 per minute.
Singles Day turning into a Global Thing
According to Worldpay systems, spending peaked at midnight as Chinese and other global shoppers to snap up bargains at the first opportunity on the busiest online shopping day of the year so far. Shoppers who took advantage of the sales made an average of 5.3 purchases, spending an average of £95 (approx 120 euro) in total (up from two purchases totalling £65 (80 euro) the previous week).
Another explanation for the swift and early uptake of sales has to do with the fact that Singles day is turning into a global thing. It seems that the Chinese Government slowly but surely allows for international trade to pick up and China is gradually opening up for cross-border e-commerce sales. This paves the way for many Chinese people around the globe (and others) to shop cross-border and to grab their bargains offered by Chinese online retailers. But despite the opportunity for consumers, there is also something to gain for online merchants.
Huge opportunity for online retailers
“China Singles Day is a huge opportunity for online retailers, whether they are based in China or selling in to the Chinese market, to significantly boost sales,” says Tang Kok San, VP Business China at Worldpay. “But retailers need to be prepared to meet the needs of Chinese shoppers, from offering them the payment options they want, the delivery costs they expect and the aggressive promotions, to ensure they turn browsers into buyers.”
Credit Cards, Alipay and UnionPay
According to Kevin Dallas, Chief Product Officer Global eCommerce Business, Worldpay's processing systems - all around the world - showed tremendous increase in transaction and spending volumes. MasterCard, Visa, UnionPay and Alipay were mostly used for cross-border transactions, whereby the major cards seem to have a slightly larger share compared to domestic transactions (Alipay and Tenpay rule the market still).
Alipay holds their position as China's single largest payment method and market leader, however, it is interesting to see how UnionPay is gaining traction, especially now they seem to shift towards simplified, one-click type of payments instead of redirect checkouts. With the enhanced UnionPay checkout it is likely that they will continue their uprise. Merchants willing to tap into the booming Chinese ecommerce market would definitely need to offer credit cards, Alipay, Tenpay and UnionPay to make the most of each potential buyer".
Tenpay, next to Alipay and UnionPay, is in the top 3 of Chinese online payment methods. From our conversation with Kevin Dallas it became clear that Worldpay will add Tenpay to its product offering for its global customers in the first quarter of 2015. So definitely next year during Singles day Worldpay's customers will be able to benefit from having the all key payment methods for maximum conversion". The online payment method Tenpay ranks second in terms of marketshare (Alipay ranks 1st with around 50%, UnionPay 3rd with around 12%).
Infographic - The Payment Landscape in Asia-Pacific
Below you can find Worldpay's infographic on the Asia-Pacific's Payment Landscape including e-commerce market size, a China spotlight and consumer payment preferences.