Alibaba kicks off its megasale: Singles Day
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is starting presales for the world’s largest online sales event.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is officially launching its 2019 11.11 Global Shopping Festival (popularly known as “Singles Day”) promotional campaign with a focus on “new consumption,” “new business” and actively contributing to a greener society. The 24-hour shopping extravaganza, held every Nov. 11 since 2009, routinely generates higher gross merchandise value (GMV) than Amazon’s similar Prime Day online sales event held every July since 2015.
Alibaba’s Tmall e-commerce subsidiary is hosting a two-hour online show on Monday, Oct. 21 that will be livestreamed across 17 online media channels. It will be powered by “See Now, Buy Now” technology, and new products will be immediately available to order in presale for the first time. Expanding on previous years, featured categories in the show will include fast-moving consumer goods and electronics, as well as fashion apparel and accessories.
For the first time, Alibaba also held a concurrent kickoff event in the northeastern city of Harbin, underscoring what the company says is a focus on serving consumers and small businesses in China’s less-developed markets. In the last quarter, over Alibaba says more than 70% of its new annual active consumers came from lower-tier cities in China.
Over 200,000 retailers are participating in the 2019 edition of Singles Day, with one million new products available and more than 500 million consumers expected to participate - about 100 million more than in 2018. Alibaba estimates consumer savings from brand and platform promotions and coupons will be around $7 billion.
Thousands of retailers have upgraded to the Tmall Flagship Store 2.0 platform in preparation for the event. Version 2.0 offers new features and tools that enable retailers to further engage with their customers through rich, interactive content and an omnichannel experience. The upgrade, rolled out several months ago, enables retailers to customize their flagship store to offer an immersive experience to consumers. It personalizes content and product promotions for different types of customers based on their profiles. Over the next year, Tmall expects several thousand retailers to upgrade their storefronts to 2.0.
A star-studded gala in Shanghai will count down to Singles Day on the evening of November 10. More than 22,000 international retailers from 78 countries and regions will participate in this year’s event on Tmall Global, Alibaba’s cross-border online marketplace. Alibaba is also extending the reach of Singles Day to global markets with efforts such as its AliExpress e-commerce subsidiary enabling local retailers from Russia, Spain, Italy, and Turkey to participate for the first time.
In addition, Alibaba’s South Asian subisidary Daraz will bring Singles Day discounts to customers in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Nepal; while India will participate with the UC Shopping Fest, in association with Indian payment and content platforms Paytm, VMate, and 9Apps.
“Our goal is to stimulate consumption demand and support lifestyle upgrade in China through new brands and products,” said Fan Jiang, president of Taobao and Tmall. “We will enable merchants in China and around the world to grow their businesses through data-driven product innovation and consumer insights, as well as leverage our recommendation technology and content-driven user engagement to delight consumers in urban coastal cities and less-developed areas of China.”
Post-Singles Day, Alibaba global parcel tracking platform Cainiao and its partners will make November 20 a day focused on the recycling of cardboard packaging. They will work to convert 75,000 locations into permanent recycling stations, and express courier companies will pick up used cardboard boxes and wrapping. Consumers will be incentivized to recycle through rewards of “green energy” points on Ant Forest, a climate initiative launched by Alibaba’s digital payment subsidiary Alipay.
Alibaba Group’s 10th annual Singles Day, held on Nov. 11, was the Chinese e-commerce giant’s most far-reaching shopping holiday to date. The 24-hour shopping extravaganza racked up a record $30.8 billion in sales (or gross merchandise value (GMV), an increase of 27% compared to 2017.