Alibaba Group has officially kicked off its 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, which for the first time will include “new retail” – integrating online and offline shopping experiences.
Kicking off officially on 31st October, there are nearly two weeks of celebrations to the lead up of Alibaba’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival event on 11th November.
Since commencing in 2009 the 11.11 event has grown become the largest online and mobile shopping festival in the world. This year 11.11 will include promotional initiatives, more consumer engagement features and entertainment that will lead up to 11th November, with the concept of “new retail” debuting the event this year.
This year’s 11.11 shopping festival will be the first time that merchants and consumers experience “new retail”, Alibaba’s drive to integrate online and offline shopping experiences.
During the festival, Alibaba will collaborate with 52 shopping malls to set up 60 new retail-powered pop-up stores across 12 cities in China. for example, consumers can visit a pop-up store of a cosmetics brand to experience an augmented reality lipstick trial.
Nearly 100,000 stores throughout China will also be converted into “smart stores” to bring a range of “new retail” experiences such as facial recognition payment and scan-and-deliver O2O shopping. New retail will also be rolled out for community stores such as Rural Taobao service centres and neighbourhood convenience stores.
Buy Globally, Sell Globally
More than 60,000 international brands will be available ay 11:11 this year, including Adidas, Bose, La Mer, L’Oréal, Mac, Mattel, Mondelez, Nike, P&G, Shiseido, Siemens, Unilever, Uniqlo, Wyeth and Zara. Free shipping will be introduced to ten countries during this year’s Festival to extend the global reach.
Consumer Engagement and Retail as Entertainment
This year, Alibaba will continue to leverage its media and entertainment assets to drive online consumption. Regardless of their physical location, consumers will be able to participate in more experiences this year, which furthers the “new retail” concept. Some of the new initatiaves are listed below:
- An AR game on Mobile Taobao App called Catch the Cat will drive online traffic to offline locations. Consumers will use their mobile device to catch the virtual Tmall Cat mascot at a number of retail partner locations to win special perks, discounts and coupons for use at online and offline stores.
- Red envelopes of more than RMB250 million will be shared among Chinese consumers through various interactive games. One of which shoppers can invite friends to form special teams, and once their team’s purchases reach a certain amount collectively, all team members will be able to get discounts and coupons.
- The See Now, Buy Now Fashion Show this year will be an iteration of “retail as entertainment”. Twenty seven international brands teamed up with Alibaba to produce a four-hour Tmall Collection See Now, Buy Now Fashion Show which broadcasted across seven different television and online channels in China on Tuesday. Alibaba is leveraging its media and e-commerce platforms with aims to create one seamless experience where viewers can become consumers on the spot and immediately buy what they see in the fashion show, regardless of which platform they choose.
- The 11.11 Countdown Gala Celebration will be held on 10th November in Shanghai. Directed by Hollywood producer David Hill for the second year in a row, the Gala will be broadcast live on three major satellite TV channels and will feature top-tier singers and movie stars who will be announced in the weeks ahead.
The online shopping event has evolved from a 24-hour online sale into a 24-day festival season celebrated both online and offline. Promotions and offers from more than 140,000 brands and 15 million product listings will be available to consumers around the world.
For Chinese consumers, who are increasingly aspiring for quality products and a wider range of choice with, more than 60,000 international brands will be available to them across the Alibaba marketplaces.
Last year, nearly 100,000 merchants participated in the global shopping event, with consumers spending RMB 120.7 billion (USD 17.79 billion) during the 24-hour period.