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Warm-up starts for 11.11 Global Shopping Festival

Pre-sale activities have launched for Alibaba Group’s latest 11.11 Global Shopping Festival.

Three weeks of interactive marketing promotions, innovative retail experiences and new international product offerings lead up to the sale, with more details to be revealed by Alibaba at the end of the month.

More than 140,000 brands will participate in this year’s 11.11 with more than 15 million product listings. The more than half a billion Chinese consumers visiting Alibaba’s platforms will be able to choose products from more than 60,000 international brands.

A year after Alibaba announced its New Retail strategy, the 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. Online-to-offline initiatives include:

● More than 1 million stores from different merchants will use various online and offline integrations under Alibaba’s New Retail models to create innovative customer experiences

● More than 1000 brands across various categories will be converting 100,000-plus physical locations into “smart stores” featuring New Retail experiences including browsing, shopping tours, virtual fitting rooms, payments and deliveries

● More than 600,000 neighbourhood convenience stores and 30,000 rural Taobao service centres will use Alibaba’s one-stop technology to digitise their businesses, and will partner international brands like Ferrero, Lay’s, Mondelez and P&G to serve more than 100 million consumers

● Augmented-reality games will let Chinese consumers earn promotion coupons and prizes when they find and scan the Tmall mascot using the Taobao app (the mascots will be stationed in thousands of retail stores including KFC and Starbucks outlets).

For the first time, Tmall will take more than 100 Chinese brands overseas, offering special promotions targeting more than 100 million overseas Chinese consumers internationally.

Alibaba’s logistics network, Cainiao Network, expects more than 3 million logistics personnel to handle the millions of packages generated from the 24-hour festival. The network will invest more than US$200 million to help merchants and logistics partners handle the spike in demand.

For the second year in a row, Hollywood producer David Hill will direct the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival Gala in Shanghai on November 10. It will feature celebrity guests and performances livestreamed by Beijing TV, Shenzhen TV and Zhejiang TV.

The 11.11 shopping festival launched in 2009 with just 27 merchants. Last year, nearly 100,000 merchants participated, with consumers spending RMB120.7 billion (US$17.79 billion) during the 24 hours.

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