Alibaba Kicks Off 11.11 Shopping Festival With Focus on Online-Offline Integration
Alibaba Group officially kicked off its 11.11 Global Shopping Festival on Oct. 31, announcing an array of promotional initiatives, consumer engagement efforts and unique entertainment that will lead up to Nov. 11. Since 2009, this has become the largest and most anticipated online and mobile shopping festival in the world.
The 11.11 Global Shopping Festival has evolved from a 24-hour online sale into a 24-day festival season celebrated both online and offline. The festival offers consumers around the world promotions and offers from more than 140,000 brands and 15 million product listings. More than 60,000 international brands will be available across the Alibaba marketplaces to Chinese consumers, who are increasingly aspiring for quality products and a wider range of choice.
This year’s festival will be the first time that merchants and consumers experience New Retail, Alibaba’s drive to integrate online and offline shopping experiences. “The 11.11 Global Shopping Festival is a large-scale business collaboration bringing together consumers, retailers, logistics companies, financial institutions, online as well as offline stores and shopping centers around the world," said Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang. "It is a grand stage for showcasing the New Retail initiative pioneered by Alibaba.”
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. Consumers can visit a pop-up store of a cosmetics brand, for example, to experience an augmented reality (AR) lipstick trial.
Nearly 100,000 stores available in 31 provinces and 334 cities 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 centers and neighborhood convenience stores.
Buy globally, sell globally
More than 60,000 international brands will be available across the Alibaba marketplaces. Participating brands include Adidas, Bose, La Mer, L'Oréal, Mac, Mattel, Mondelez, Nike, P&G, Shiseido, Siemens, Unilever, Uniqlo, Wyeth, Zara and more.
Through a new Tmall initiative inaugurated in June this year, 100 Chinese brands can sell globally, with a focus on the Southeast Asian markets at the initial stage. 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. “Alibaba Group’s 2017 11.11 Global Shopping Festival brings consumers around the world a step closer to realizing the aspirational life where entertainment and retail become one," said Alibaba Group CMO Chris Tung. "Regardless of their physical location, consumers will be able to participate in more experiences than ever before this year, all showing the reality of New Retail. We start today but this is a festival with nearly two weeks of celebration and so many different ways to participate.”
Catch the Cat
This AR game on the mobile Taobao app 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. In one game, 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
The fashion show this year will be showcase “retail as entertainment.” Twenty-seven global brands are joining with Alibaba to produce the four-hour Tmall Collection See Now, Buy Now Fashion Show which will be broadcast across seven different television and online channels in China (Beijing TV, Youku, Weibo, Today’s Headline and the Taobao and Tmall mobile apps) on Oct. 31, starting at 9pm. Alibaba is leveraging its media and e-commerce platforms 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.
Introduced in 2016, this year’s fashion show will feature major brands under fashion conglomerates such as LVMH, SMCP and Estée Lauder. It will be a truly global show with a mix of international brands such as Furla, Polo Ralph Lauren, GAP, Levi’s, Victoria’s Secret alongside Chinese designers like Dong Liang, Daphne and Erdos.
11.11 Countdown Gala Celebration
The 11.11 Countdown Gala Celebration will be held on Nov. 10, in Shanghai’s Mercedes Benz Arena. Directed by Hollywood producer David Hill for the second year in a row, the Gala will be broadcast live on three satellite TV channels Zhejiang TV, Shenzhen TV and Beijing TV, and will feature singers and movie stars who will be announced in the weeks ahead.