Alibaba 11/11 Shopping Festival eyes 800m consumers and 250,000 brands

By Luke Barras-hill |

Alibaba Group kicked off its popular 11/11 Global Shopping Festival on Tuesday (20 October) by announcing tantalising pre-sales windows and the widest international consumer reach in the event’s history.

China’s ‘Singles’ Day’ or ‘Double 11’ is a significant revenue driver for many brands across the globe, with sales from Alibaba’s event in 2019 surpassing more than $38 billion over the 24-hour period (11 November).

More than 250,000 brands are participating in this year’s spectacle, reaching about 800 million consumers.

MERCHANTS GET ‘DOUBLE BITE’

Merchants are being offered the chance to ‘double up’ on promoting their products and services to consumers across China by virtue of an extra sales window (1-3 November), which takes place before the main 24-hour spectacle begins (11 November).

Pre-sales periods are understood to have now begun (21 Oct – 31 Oct) with a further one following next month (4-10 November).

This is designed specifically to allow small businesses and new brands the chance to showcase their products and tell stories amid the Covid-19 crisis.

New innovations and features such as broader and bigger promotions, more brand and product special offers and the inclusion of Alipay’s digital lifestyle platform have been introduced to match rapidly shifting consumer trends.

Tmall Global will supply more than 2,600 new overseas brands to Chinese consumers for the first time, while Alibaba’s cross-border e-commerce unit Kaola will also join 11.11 for the first time, bringing products from 89 countries and regions.

Alipay’s platform will gather nearly two million local service providers spotlighting promotions in more than 100 cities.

Offline small- and micro-merchants in China, such as grocery stores and street stalls, can also participate using the Alipay platform.

Business-to-consumer online retail website Tmall, owned by Alibaba, will deliver more than a quarter of a million brands and around 14 million value-for-money products, while Taobao – Alibaba’s huge ecommerce player in China –will run its Taobao Deals ‘RMB1 Sales’ campaign, pledging vast discounts for consumers and free shipping.

LIVESTREAMING A CORE COMPONENT

In a nod to Alibaba’s proliferating visibility, the Singles’ Day bonanza will put livestreaming at the heart of retailing activities to foster engagement with consumers outside China.

As such, the 2020 event is expected to boast its largest international presence to date.

Around 400 company executives and 300 celebrities will host individual livestreaming sessions, in addition to those held by top livestreamers.

The sessions will take place between 16:00 to 17:30 CET on 10-11 November.

The shopping bonanza is being powered by Alibaba’s robust technology and logistics infrastructure, with more than 50% of this year’s cross-border parcels expected to be delivered twice as fast as usual.

Sessions on cosmetics, electronics, automobiles, homes and many other sectors will feature via Taobao Live for more immersive customer experiences.

Alibaba’s Damo Academy will use AI  technology to create its first virtual livestreaming host, while Fliggy will host travel-related livestreams.

Lazada was the first to bring the shopping festival concept to Southeast Asia across six markets – Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

This year, Lazada will continue its ‘shoppertainment’ features ranging from livestreaming to new consumer games and innovations such as voice search to locate items.

Alibaba’s Global Shopping Festival began in 2009 with just 27 merchants and was billed as an event to raise awareness of the value of online shopping.

As reported, Alibaba is set to take a 6.1% stake in Dufry Group following a rights issuance as both parties seek to scale up their influence and operations across China via a recently announced joint venture.

All images courtesy of Businesswire.

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