【Unlocking Word Meanings】
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
1. e-commerce / ˈiˌkɒm ərs / (n.) – the industry of selling and buying online
Example: E-commerce has become common because of the growing popularity of smartphones.
2. accumulate / əˈkyu myəˌleɪt / (v.) – to collect
Example: He has already accumulated hundreds of books over the past months.
3. socialize / ˈsoʊ ʃəˌlaɪz / (v.) – to spend time enjoying with or getting to know a group of people
Example: You should go to the party and socialize.
4. sale / seɪl / (n.) – an event wherein retailers sell their products for lower prices
Example: They bought a lot of clothes during the Christmas sale.
5. gala / ˈgeɪ lə / (n.) – a public party or show
Example: The TV network held a gala celebration to welcome the new year.
Read the text below.
Alibaba’s Single’s Day online shopping event established a new sales record this year.
Alibaba, China’s largest e-commerce company, reportedly accumulated $17.8 billion through the 2016 Single’s Day event, surpassing its 2015 record with a sales growth of 32%. The company annually holds the one-day event on November 11.
Single’s Day is a holiday invented in the 1990s by university students in Nanjing, China. Originally called Bachelor’s Day, it is a day for single people to celebrate and socialize. The creators chose the date November 11 because it is written as 11/11, with four number 1s (ones) that resemble single people.
Alibaba started holding a Single’s Day shopping event in 2009. The company encouraged retailers to advertise sales on its online shopping platforms, which include Taobao, Tmall and Alibaba.com. From being a simple online sale event during its launching, Single’s Day has become an annual nationwide event that launches with a TV gala countdown.
Top-selling items came from US companies like Apple, New Balance, and Nike. On the other hand, the Chinese brands that topped the list include appliance manufacturers Haier and Midea and smartphone company Meizu.
Aside from Alibaba’s Single’s Day, another online shopping event also surpassed its records this year. Sales during Cyber Monday reached up to $3.45 billion, which is 12.5% higher than last year’s profits.
Cyber Monday is a 24-hour shopping event done to celebrate Thanksgiving where huge American retail companies like Amazon, Walmart, and eBay sell goods online at great discounts.
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
· Do you think that Alibaba’s shopping event will also be successful in your country? Why or why not?
· Aside from holiday sales, how else can Alibaba increase its sales?
· Give some possible advantages and disadvantages of online shopping.
· Given the possible harms of online shopping, how can online stores get the trust of consumers?