Forget cost of living, ladies: The real reason you're shedding cash may be your bra size. 

This summer, the analytics team at Alibaba revealed an interesting trend in consumer spending: By analyzing underwear sales, they found that women with larger breasts (i.e., those who purchased larger bra sizes) also tended to spend more, on average, than the less endowed (i.e., those who purchased smaller bra sizes). Specifically, 65 percent of women owning a B cup or smaller fell into the low-spending category, while women with a C cup or higher tended to fit into a middle or high group. 

Certainly, the validity of such a conclusion is suspect, and it's worth noting that teens--who tend to have significantly less spending power--would probably be the ones buying smaller bras.

Still, the study nods to the e-commerce giant's massive potential for data reaping, and particularly on the heels of its Singles Day, in which it brought in a total of $9.3 billion in sales, with as many as 2.85 million transactions per minute. "We've only seen the tip of the iceberg," Alibaba vice chairman Joseph Tsai told Quartz. "We really haven't done even 5 percent of leveraging that data to really make our operations more efficient, consumers more satisfied."

Apparently, that leveraging starts with breasts.

What will Alibaba's data crunchers turn to next? Let your imagination run wild.

Published on: Nov 14, 2014