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Alibaba’s Singles Day next week will be ‘grander than ever’ predicts analyst

While eye-popping sales numbers have become routine for Alibaba’s Singles Day on 11.11, Forrester senior analyst Xiaofeng Wang expects this year’s event will be “grander than ever in terms of scale and reach, innovations, and social responsibility”.

Singles’ Day, the world’s largest online shopping event, will be held on Monday, but a huge share of sales are set up in advance. Here are four points to watch out for on Alibaba’s Singles Day this year, according to Wang:

Bigger discounts will come with more complex promotion schemes. 

Major players such as Alibaba, JD and Shopee rolled out preorder campaigns with varying start dates, and their promotion schemes have become increasingly complex. Consumers fall into a dilemma between deals that are too good to resist and schemes that are too many and too complex to follow.

Alibaba will continue to push the boundaries of what to buy online. 

Last year, Alibaba expanded its 11.11 product portfolio to new industries like automobile and hotel. This year, it is expanding into new areas such as entertainment to offline services to real estate. Consumers in China can buy tickets to Disney Parks, car-care services, home decoration, and renovation services online. What’s more, Alibaba plans to sell 10,000 apartments on its auction platform.

Live-streaming commerce will be the key driver of revenue growth. 

Live-streaming commerce is increasingly gaining momentum in China and quickly expanding to Southeast Asia and beyond. Lazada, Shopee, and Rakuten all launched live-streaming features. Beauty brand Whoo already created a jaw-dropping record of achieving 100 million yuan Gross Merchandise Volume in six minutes of live streaming during the preorder campaign period. Fifty-five cars were sold in just one second in another live-streaming session of Chinese automobile brand JMC. We expect to see more record-breaking live streaming sales like this emerge on 11.11 this year.

Leading retailers and brands will differentiate with their social responsibility. 

Alibaba announced the plan of “a greener 11.11.” It is committing to set up 40,000 recycling stations across China through its Cainiao Smart Logistics Network, along with an additional 35,000 by its express-courier partners. It also encourages consumers to participate by rewarding them with “green energy” points on Ant Forest. Not exactly for Singles Day, Singapore-based online retailer Carousell recently launched a “reboxing” campaign with the similar idea of reducing waste. We expect to see more retailers and brands participate and initiate social responsibility campaigns like this.”

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