E-COMMERCE platform Lazada Philippines has reported record numbers for this year’s 11.11 annual shopping festival, with more than 70,000 sellers participating — 14,000 of which joined the sale for the first time — and selling over 2 millions items in the first hour.

“Our focus has always been to support businesses and sellers to grow, and serve the evolving needs of the Filipino community. In the past few months, we saw more merchants embrace digitalization to diversify revenue streams and connect with customers amid the pandemic and lockdowns. By connecting brands and sellers to consumers through Lazada’s Biggest One-Day Sale of the year and our Shoppertainment initiatives, we also want to enable more businesses to bounce back and revive their growth through eCommerce,” Ray Alimurung, Lazada Philippines Chief Executive Officer, said in a press release.

Lazada noted that within the first hour of the Nov. 11 sale, the platform “had already set a new sales record of over 2 million items purchased by consumers in the Philippines.”

Likewise, Lazada’s parent company, Alibaba, also had record sales for its Nov. 11 or Singles’ Day sale, selling more than $56-billion worth of items within the first 30 minutes of Nov. 11 with orders peaking at 538,000 orders per second. But unlike Lazada which only had the one-day sale on Nov. 11, Alibaba this year decided to open up a new shopping window on Nov. 1, which likely contributed to the record sales. Alibaba also opened its doors to luxury brands like Prada this year.

Alibaba started holding the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival in 2009.

For Lazada Philippines, the shopping festival’s top category was Home and Living followed by Fashion and Apparel, Electronics Accessories, Health and Beauty, and Home Appliances.

This, according to the company, shows a shift in consumer behavior as they prioritized essential items such as cleaning products and groceries on the app, with over 345,000 grocery items sold in 24 hours as well as over 250,000 health accessories (including face masks and face shields), and over 235,000 cleaning supplies purchased. Face shields were apparently the most popular item in Metro Manila while disposable surgical face masks were all the rage in Cebu and Davao.

One cart, the company said, had over 200 items, while over 18,000 smartphones were sold during the sale day, and car company Honda received 4,500 car reservations.

The company observed the Filipinos had been adding items to their carts as early as Oct. 15 with hopes of scoring a deal once Nov. 11 rolled around. A total of 260 million minutes were spent by consumers on the platform during the sale period, with the highest consumer traffic between noon to 1 p.m.

Over 320 million vouchers, including free shipping vouchers, were collected by Filipino shoppers to score bigger savings when shopping from an assortment of over 5 million items during the one-day sale. — ZB Chua