Spanish retailers are among businesses worldwide that are hoping to reap a windfall from the biggest shopping event on the planet taking place in China on November 11.
Double 11 was first invented by China’s e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba Group to celebrate “Singles’ Day.” Having launched 11 years ago, it’s now a multibillion-dollar retail extravaganza, dwarfing the likes of Black Friday and Cyber Monday in terms of revenue generated.
The shopping spree afterward has become a stage for many other e-commerce players in China such as JD.com and Pinduoduo using different strategies to attract customers.
Among those vying for attention is Spanish perfume company Aromas Artesanales.
Adapting to a post COVID-19 marketplace
The company will be showcasing products on Singles’ Day for the first time.
Pre-pandemic, Aromas Artesanales used to sell perfumes in shops all over Spain.
The lockdown forced all but two of their outlets to close. However, a recent partnership with Alibaba-owned online retailer AliExpress, helped the firm to adapt to a post-COVID marketplace.
With AliExpress’ help, the business went online and also diversified, producing hand sanitizers and facemasks as well as perfume.
José Antonio Beltrán, area manager for Aromas Artesanales, told CGTN Europe, “Our business went through a really positive change. Now we are international, our brand reached countries otherwise we couldn’t, they (Aliexpress) supported us so we could reach new places and get to be known.”
AliExpress making inroads into Europe
In 2019, AliExpress chose Madrid as the location for their first physical store in Europe or as they call it “offline shopping.” The Madrid store showcases 1,000 products from more than 60 brands.
“We are a global platform, we don’t want to be seen just as a Chinese platform, that’s why we opened two stores in Spain so we could be close to our customers so they can come and not only look at a specific product but also live a shopping experience,” Estela Ye, AliExpress director of marketing, told CGTN Europe.
“At the beginning of lockdown, we started a program called ‘Together without fees.’ We deleted our fee for over 8,000 Spanish businesses operating in AliExpress which meant one million euros worth of savings for them so they can use that money for other tasks that will help them remain operative.”
The world’s biggest shopping festival
Both AliExpress and Aromas Artesanales are ready for Double 11.
Originally an unofficial Chinese holiday where single people would hold parties for each other, Alibaba chief Jack Ma turned it in 2009 into the biggest shopping event in the world. Last year its sales generated over $38 billion in just 48 hours, more than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.
What’s more with brands and retailers desperate to recover from the impact of coronavirus, many have increased their Double 11 investment in an effort to boost sales in what has been a disastrous year for most.