Alibaba E-Commerce Sales Rise 19% In Latest Quarter, Surpassing Expectations

  • May 22, 2020 at 11:40 AM EDT
  • By Bryan Wassel
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Alibaba was another beneficiary of the new shopping habits caused by social distancing, with e-Commerce sales up 19% to nearly $13.2 billion in its latest quarter. The growth was somewhat unexpected for the company, which had projected a COVID-19-driven revenue drop in earlier guidance.

The number of annual active consumers in the e-Commerce giant’s China retail marketplaces reached 726 million, up 15 million from the 12-month period ended December 31, 2019. Mobile monthly active users across all of the company’s platforms reached 846 million in March, up 22% over December 2019.

Alibaba’s combined domestic retail businesses saw 21% growth for the quarter. Sales of physical goods on Tmall in particular grew 10% year-over-year, driven by fast-moving consumer goods and resilient demand for consumer electronics. Together, these categories generated 25% growth. This was offset by a decline in sales among categories including apparel and accessories, home furnishing and auto parts.

AliExpress’ international revenue growth was significantly slower due to supply chain and logistics disruptions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, though it was still positive at 8%. The pace of recovery is still uncertain in countries outside China, but Alibaba noted that international commerce only represents 7% of its total revenue for fiscal 2020.

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Another bright spot for the e-Commerce giant was its cloud computing business, which saw revenue rise 58%. Additionally, revenue from Alibaba’s digital media and entertainment segment grew 5%.

“The pandemic has fundamentally altered consumer behavior and enterprise operations, making digital adoption and transformation a necessity,” said Daniel Zhang, Chairman and CEO of Alibaba in a statement. “We are well positioned and prepared to help large and small businesses across a wide spectrum of industries achieve the digital transformation they need to survive this difficult period and eventually prevail in the new normal. By focusing on the long term and investing in value creation for our consumers and business customers, we believe we will emerge from this crisis stronger and be ready to capture more growth in the future.”

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