New Zealand retailers participating in China's annual shopping festival Singles' Day made an impressive penny on Monday.

While e-commerce giant Alibaba clocked sales of US$38.4 billion ($60.6b) from its 11.11 global shopping festival - up 26 per cent on its 2018 result, local retailers here also experienced an increase in sales during the event.

More than 200,000 brands participated in Alibaba's shopping event extended through its network of marketplace, including Tmall, Tmall Global and Taobao. Thousands more participated in rival e-commerce site JD.com's Singles' Day event.

JD.com reported total sales of US$42b (66.3b).

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Alibaba says 299 brands selling on its platforms surpassed sales of US$14.3 million ($22.5m), and 15 of those surpassed sales of US$100m ($158m).

More than 1 million new products launched for 11.11, with the top-selling country to China being Japan. This was followed by the United States, South Korea, Australia and Germany.

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New Zealand ranked as the eighth best-selling country to China, with A2 Milk ranked as the eighth best-selling imported brand by Chinese consumers on 11.11.

Streetwear retailer Superdry says it achieved "massive success" during its Singles' Day sales event in New Zealand and Australia.

This is the third year Superdry has participated in the event.

Superdry offered 11 per cent of its products during the event which resulted in a 600 per cent lift in transactions year-on-year. It also posted a 117 per cent increase in its e-commerce transactions and 380 per cent increase in revenue, with a notable lift in sales on its jackets and snow categories.

Superdry head of marketing Matthew Iozzi said the retailer now considered Singles' Day as a "warm-up to the sales season".

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Employees cheer in front of a screen showing Alibaba's sales volume exceeding 213.5 billion yuan from its 11.11 festival. Photo / Getty Images
Employees cheer in front of a screen showing Alibaba's sales volume exceeding 213.5 billion yuan from its 11.11 festival. Photo / Getty Images

Cleaning products company Ecostore experienced double-digit sales growth on Singles' Day on Monday, a 20 per cent increase on its $2.36m worth of sales made during the event last year.

Ecostore sold 340,000 units of product in 24 hours, with its dish liquid and handwash the most popular products bought by Chinese consumers. Just under half a million people visited Ecostore's website on Monday - up 15 per cent from last year.

Interestingly, 99 per cent of its sales were made via mobile.

Skincare brand Antipodes says Singles' Day was "definitely" its biggest sales day of 2019.

Over 70 per cent of sales on the day were of its Kiwi Seed Oil Eye Cream, and it noted increased sales of its natural lipsticks and brightening eye cream.

Antipodes spokeswoman Pieta Reid said the company had focused on creating video content and revamped its site to encourage Singles' Day sales.

Superdry celebrated Singles' Day with discounts of 11 per cent. Photo / Supplied
Superdry celebrated Singles' Day with discounts of 11 per cent. Photo / Supplied

"We love the 11.11 festival. For our brand it allows us to increase our brand awareness in the China market and puts our products into many Chinese consumers' hands," Reid said.

Last year Fonterra made $28 million on Singles' Day through sales of dairy brands Anchor, Anmum and Anlene. The Herald is waiting on its sales figures for this year.

Singles' Day started as a spoof anti-Valentine's Day event celebrated by single Chinese university students in the 1990s. It is now considered the biggest shopping day of the year, exceeding sales of US shopping days Black Friday and Cyber Monday, combined.

New Zealand retailers are beginning to realise the commercial opportunity to get involved in the event.

This year, Agency88 and Britomart Group funded a 3-metre tall QR code tunnel in
Takutai Square in downtown Auckland to promote China's Singles' Day event. More than 30 retailers were part of the promotion, including Deadly Ponies, Zambesi and others in the fashion, automotive, fresh produce and electronics sectors.