The 11.11 festival enters its second decade, its 11th year, is to mark ‘new consumption’ said the company. The event will be streamed live to a mass audience, mixing entertainment and commerce with a star-studded cast in Shanghai as of 10 November. It is the envy of retailers around the world, with the likes of Amazon’s Prime Day still a minnow in comparison.
Tonight, 22 October, the Tmall Collection will open with a two-hour show live-streamed across 17 online media channels. Taking the ‘See Now, Buy Now’ mentality one step further, Alibaba said that goods will be available for pre-order for the first time.
Across the broader 11:11 festival, 200,000 brands will participate. Additionally, one million new products will jostle for interest from 500m users, a customer base equal to half of China’s population. The discounting drive, the company said, would save consumers roughly RMB 50 billion.
Fan Jiang, president of Taobao and Tmall, said: “Our goal is to stimulate consumption demand and support lifestyle upgrade in China through new brands and products. 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.
“Given its scale, minimizing environmental impact is essential and our technology will ensure it is a green 11.11 Global Shopping Festival.”
Alibaba Group chief marketing officer, Chris Tung noted a drive to involve ‘less-developed markets’ in a customer acquisition drive which will attract even more consumers into the festival. The northeastern city of Harbin will also host an event, as part of a strategy to attract spend from new shoppers. It said: “70% of Alibaba’s new annual active consumers came from lower-tier cities.”
Internationally, it expects to see action in 78 countries and region.
Harking back to its 2009 launch, Alibaba pointed out that the festival was first backed by only 27 merchants.