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What to expect in Alibaba's 11.11 Global Shopping Festival 2020?

Evolution from a ‘single’ to a ‘double’ festival to provide more opportunities for merchants.

E-commerce and technology specialist Alibaba Group has kicked off this year’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival. This is set to be the group’s largest 11.11 event since its inception.

Responding to the rapidly shifting consumer trends, 11.11 will leverage Alibaba’s digital ecosystem to continue supporting merchants, whilst providing consumers with innovative and engaging retail experience.

The 11.11 Global Shopping Festival began in 2009 with participation from just 27 merchants as an event to raise awareness about the value of online shopping. Since then, the group has continued to provide consumers and merchants with an avenue for interactive shopping, boasting greater international reach, debuting more brands and products across their e-commerce platforms over the years.

At the group’s 11.11 press conference held on 29 October, Alibaba Group’s Chief Marketing Officer Chris Tung emphasised the importance of embracing innovative digital technologies and shared how Alibaba is helping more brands – both in mainland China and overseas – participate in 11.11 this year by doing so.

He highlighted the festival’s evolution from a ‘single’ to a ‘double’ festival this year with the number of participating entry platforms doubled. This year’s 11.11 also featured not one, but two, sales periods to bring more opportunities to participating brands and businesses for the first time, with an additional sales window added from November 1 to 3, ahead of the regular sales schedule on 11 November.

In following with the ‘double’ festival, this year’s 11.11 will also see a double gala – with the Tmall 11.11 Livestreaming Grand Ceremony held on October 31, and the Tmall 11.11 Gala on 10 November, providing twice the opportunities for brands and merchants to showcase their products, as well as doubling the fun for shoppers all over the world as the festival enters its 12th year.

Various executives from Alibaba Group including James Zhao, general manager of Cainiao Global Supply Chain, Cainiao Network; Alvin Liu, Tmall Import and Export president; and Jessica Liu, Lazada Group co-president and regional head of commercial, shared the objective and scale of this year’s festival, highlighting how the Alibaba ecosystem will help local merchants to participate in 11.11.

Jessica Liu emphasised Lazada’s strong partnerships across its six Southeast Asian markets, with more than 350,000 sellers and brands collaborating with the platform in this year’s festival. Lazada also unveiled their first Lazada regional brand ambassador, South Korean actor and model, Lee Min Ho.

Meanwhile, James Zhao shed light on Cainiao's preparation for 11.11, which includes investing in cutting-edge logistics technology and innovations such as Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV), automated parcel collection machines, and smart lockers to support the greater volumes of orders made during 11.11. In last year’s festival, the Alibaba logistics arm processed more than 1.8 billion delivery orders.

Brands such as Golden Goose and Unilever were also invited to share their thoughts on participating in 11.11 this year and introduce how they are partnering with Alibaba to achieve richer customer experiences.

“We have been seeing our followers growing over the months (since we established a presence on Tmall). However, we feel that 11.11 is not about achieving targets, but about using it as an opportunity to showcase our brand DNA,” said Mauro Maggioni, Chief Executive Officer Asia Pacific, Golden Goose.

The Italian brand is using 11.11 as a platform to launch two new sneaker ranges and will be offering fans and customers a special offline-to-online tour of its lab, where they will be able to see artisans at work and enjoy personalised services.

Other highlights to look forward to

The group officially kicked off the presales for its annual 11.11 Global Shopping Festival on 21 October. The number of consumers shopping during the first hour of presales was more than double than the previous year’s, and over 300 brands recorded the results on the first full day of presales that surpassed the same period of last year.

Tung highlighted the holistic participation of business units across the Alibaba ecosystem such as Alipay, Tmall Global, Fliggy, as well as ticketing platforms, such as Taopiaopiao and Damai that are helping to provide more seamless end-to-end shopping experiences to consumers.

To cater to the wider international reach for this year’s sales, Alibaba Group’s cross-border e-commerce platform Kaola will also be joining the 11.11 festivities for the first time, featuring products from 89 countries and regions.

More brands and products also made their debut on the Tmall platform, with more than 2,600 new overseas brands, over two million new products, and an addition of around 50,000 companies introduced to the festival. Renowned luxury brands such as Prada, Cartier, Montblanc, Piaget, Balenciaga, and Chloé will also be joining this year’s festival for the first time.

In addition, over 1.2 million new imported products will debut from overseas merchants such as Universal Music Group’s merchandising and brand management division The Bravados, which recently launched a store on Tmall Global featuring merchandise from top international artists. This includes Tupac, Guns N’ Roses, The Rolling Stones, Bob Marley, Taylor Swift, and more.

Livestreaming will also take the center stage this 11.11, as Alibaba continues its efforts to cater to the Gen Z consumers in China by providing a more realistic and engaging shopping experience.

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