Alibaba Group (NYSE:BABA) announced that its 11.11 Global Shopping Festival will officially launch pre-sale activities today, kicking off the festival period with more than three weeks of interactive marketing promotions, innovative New Retail experiences and new product offerings from around the world. Alibaba will host a press conference on October 31 in Shanghai to announce additional details and activities around this year’s 11.11 festivities and details of the gala.
Over 140,000 brands will participate in this year’s 11.11, offering promotions for more than 15 million product listings. More than 60,000 international brands will be available to the more than half a billion Chinese consumers visiting Alibaba’s platforms.
A year after Alibaba announced its New Retail strategy, this year’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival will further showcase the possibilities for the future of retail by infusing physical retail elements in social media, interactive content, and entertainment in one ecosystem at an unprecedented scale. Some online to offline initiatives include:
Over 1 million stores from different merchants will utilize various online and offline integrations under Alibaba’s New Retail models to enhance merchant operations and create innovative consumer experiences;
More than 1,000 brands across various categories will be converting over 100,000 physical locations into “smart stores” which will feature a range of New Retail experiences from browsing, shopping tours, virtual fitting rooms, payments and deliveries;
More than 600,000 local neighbourhood convenience stores and 30,000 Rural Taobao service centers will be part of this year’s 11.11, utilizing Alibaba’s one-stop solution to digitize their businesses and to assist merchandising and inventory management. These small merchants will partner with leading international brands such as Mondelez, Lay’s, Ferrero and P&G to serve more than 100 million consumers;
Augmented-reality games like “Catch the Cat” will allow Chinese consumers to earn special promotion coupons and prizes when they find and scan the Tmall mascot using the Mobile Taobao App. Tmall mascots will be featured in thousands of retail stores including Starbucks and KFCs and other key shopping locations across China.
For the first time, Tmall will bring more than 100 Chinese brands overseas, offering special promotions targeting over 100 million overseas Chinese consumers in Asia and around the world.
Alibaba’s logistics network, Cainiao Network, expects over 3 million logistics personnel to handle the millions of packages generated from the 24-hour shopping festival. Cainiao Network will invest over US$200 million to help merchants and logistics partners to handle the increase in demand.
The 11.11 Global Shopping Festival Gala will take place on November 10 in Shanghai and will be directed by Hollywood producer David Hill for the second year in a row, featuring celebrity guests and performances livestreamed by three TV station partners in China: Zhejiang TV, Beijing TV and Shenzhen TV.