Here in the U.S., the biggest two shopping days of the year are Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as people start to shift into the holiday gift-giving spirit after Thanksgiving. In China, an offbeat holiday called Singles Day has become an insanely popular time for shopping. In fact, holiday discount shopping was so popular this year, that shipping companies couldn’t keep up with all of the gifts being purchased and shipped.
The biggest example is Chinese online retailer Taobao, who did a record 19.1 billion Yuan (~$3.06 billion USD) in sales on a single day, and their website saw approximately 10 million unique visitors in the first minute of holiday shopping. It’s estimated that over 105 million orders were placed with Taobao on 11/11. This mass influx of online orders overwhelmed delivery companies as you can see in the pictures shown here.
Shipping carriers are still digging out from the literal mountains of packages shipped during the holiday, and it could be as much as a month before the delivery infrastructure can catch up. Can you imagine the chaos here in the states if the same thing happened with last-minute Christmas orders?