Last year, Alibaba's 11.11 Global Shopping Festival made waves by racking up record-smashing sales of $25.3 billion on 'Single's Day' in just 24 hours. This year, the Chinese ecommerce giant has launched the festival a bit earlier, and many are waiting to see if this record will be broken.
In its 10th year, the shopping extravaganza features 500,000 items already available on pre-order on Tmall. This year also features 180,000 brands compared with last year's 140,000. In its first year, the festival featured just 27 merchants.
The company expects that the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival in 2018, which officially kicked off in Beijing on Monday, will be the largest-ever in terms of scale and reach. This year, the shopping festival is focusing on Alibaba’s New Retail strategy - the convergence of online and offline retail through technology.
“Over the last two years, we have pioneered the concept of New Retail to accelerate the digital transformation of the offline. We are excited by the impressive results achieved to date and will continue to be the driving force innovating for merchants and customers in the coming decades. We aim to become both the number-one business partner for brands and the number-one shopping destination for consumers,” said Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang in a statement.
He went on to add that the festival’s growth in the past decade had come on the back of China’s explosive digital transformation, and showcases how the Alibaba ecosystem has expanded well beyond ecommerce.
In addition to the items available on pre-order across 3,700 categories from 75 countries, there are promotional offers on Mobile Taobao and Mobile Tmall.
Users outside China can also avail of the offers through online shopping platforms Tmall World, AliExpress and Southeast Asian ecommerce company Lazada which is backed by Alibaba.
Quite a few local service providers are also participating Ele.me, the food delivery platform which was acquired by Alibaba earlier this year, will provide delivery services for select Starbucks stores across 11 Chinese cities. In addition, 150,000 merchant partners of Koubei, the company’s local commerce platform will offer half-price discounts on catering, beauty and hair salon services and karaoke bars.
Besides big brands, 200,000 mom-and-pop stores powered by Alibaba’s Ling Shou Tong, which translates to ‘retail integrated’, will provide online sales promotions, along with augmented reality-based red packets that offer discounts at 3,000 Tmall Corner Stores. Many offers are being offered across the Chinese countryside as part of Alibaba's Rural Taobao initiatives.