Alibaba’s 11.11 sale to showcase New Retail concept

In its sixth year, the online 11.11 Global Shopping Festival will introduce Alibaba Group’s New Retail concept which integrates online and offline shopping experiences.

With the event bringing together consumers, retailers, logistics companies, financial institutions and online as well as offline stores and shopping centres internationally, Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang says it is a “grand stage” for showcasing the New Retail initiative.

During the festival, Alibaba will collaborate with 52 shopping malls to set up 60 New Retail-powered pop-up stores across 12 cities in China. Consumers can visit a pop-up store of a cosmetics brand, for example, to experience an augmented-reality (AR) lipstick trial.

Nearly 100,000 stores in 31 provinces and 334 cities throughout China will also be converted into “smart stores” with a range of New Retail experiences such as facial-recognition payment and scan-and-deliver O2O shopping.

New Retail will also be rolled out for community stores such as Rural Taobao service centres and neighbourhood convenience stores.

In the lead-up to the November 11 event, Alibaba is running an array of promotional initiatives. The 24-hour online sale involves more than 140,000 brands and 15 million product listings globally, with more than 60,000 international brands available to Chinese consumers them across the Alibaba marketplaces, including Adidas, Bose, La Mer, L’Oreal, Mac, Mattel, Mondelez, Nike, P&G, Shiseido, Siemens, Unilever, Uniqlo, Wyeth, Zara, and more.

Through a new Tmall initiative inaugurated in June this year, 100 Chinese brands can sell globally, with a focus on the Southeast Asian markets at the initial stage. Free shipping will be introduced to 10 countries during this year’s Festival to extend the global reach.

This year, Alibaba will continue to leverage its media and entertainment assets to drive online consumption. Chris Tung, Alibaba Group’s chief marketing officer, says this year’s event “brings consumers around the world a step closer to realising the aspirational life where entertainment and retail become one”.

“Regardless of their physical location, consumers will be able to participate in more experiences than ever before this year, all showing the reality of New Retail. We start today but this is a festival with nearly two weeks of celebration and so many different ways to participate.”

Entertainment components include:

  • An AR game on Mobile Taobao App called Catch the Cat will drive online traffic to offline locations. Consumers will use their mobile device to catch the virtual Tmall Cat mascot at a number of retail partner locations to win special perks, discounts and coupons for use at online and offline stores.
  • Red envelopes of more than RMB250 million will be shared among Chinese consumers through various interactive games. One of which shoppers can invite friends to form special teams, and once their team’s purchases reach a certain amount collectively, all team members will be able to get discounts and coupons.
  • The 11.11 Countdown Gala Celebration will be held on November 10 in Shanghai’s Mercedes Benz Arena. Directed by Hollywood producer David Hill for the second year in a row, the gala will be broadcast live on three of the leading satellite TV channels Zhejiang TV, Shenzhen TV and Beijing TV, and will feature top-tier singers and movie stars who will be announced in the weeks ahead.

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