Sales for this year's Single's Day (celebrated on November 11the every year) through Alibaba's sites amounted to $9.3 billion this year, compared to $5.9 billion last year. The use of technology played a major role in that surge - nearly half the orders this year came through smartphones, over double that number in 2016.
AI too played a major part in this show. Using deep learning, Alibaba researchers developed FashionAI to offer in-store shoppers a familiar kind of screen interface that can make recommendations to customers based on its huge volumes of data.
FashionAI is able to not only "recognize hundreds of millions of items of clothing" but also to learn "the tastes of designers and fashion aficionados on Alibaba's shopping sites. Is this Alibaba's next winning formula?