HONG KONG--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA) today announced the launch of its 2016 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, unveiling more than three weeks of marketing promotions, entertainment programs, and new product offerings from around the world to engage Chinese consumers on the world’s busiest and largest shopping day.
From mobile live streaming, virtual reality shopping, interactive games, to an eight-hour live-streamed fashion show and a star-studded countdown gala, Alibaba is pioneering a variety of innovative ways to enable almost 100,000 merchants to build their brands, market, engage, and sell to the hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers shopping on Alibaba’s marketplaces throughout the festival.
At a press conference in Hong Kong attended by dozens of representatives from international brands, including Macy’s, Costco, Metro, Watson’s, Swisse, Kanebo, and eMart, Daniel Zhang, Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group, said, “11.11 Shopping Festival has become the global retail benchmark over the past seven years, and we have raised the bar again this year to redefine the retail experience for consumers together with our merchants from around the world.”
Zhang continued, “11.11 has evolved far beyond a 24-hours sales event. From today through November 11, consumers will discover, explore, play, watch, comment, share, recommend and shop across our entire ecosystem with our merchants both online and offline. Leveraging our robust infrastructure, global merchants have been empowered with unprecedented capability to seamlessly engage and serve customers through new technology and new environments.”
The 2016 11.11 Global Shopping Festival will unfold with a primary focus in the following four areas, in order to support the global growth strategy of Alibaba and scale of the event:
Entertainment and Interactive Engagement
Entertainment and interactive content will play a significant role in engaging all consumers this year which will help merchants explore new and creative ways to market their brand and products. Some activities include:
- On October 23, Tmall will host an eight-hour fashion show in Shanghai, the largest of its kind in China with 50 international brands and 160 models participating. The show will be streamed live via the Tmall and Taobao mobile apps, during which viewers can pre-order items in real-time as they appear on the catwalk.
- From October 21 to November 11, more than 600 international brands will be streaming live broadcasts on Tmall to educate and excite targeted consumers about their brand and 11.11 product offerings.
- Alibaba will pilot “Buy+”, the world’s first complete virtual reality (VR) shopping experience, during this year’s 11.11 festival. Shoppers will be virtually transported to select retail stores internationally, and experience the entire shopping process from product selection to payment, all through VR.
- The 11.11 Global Shopping Festival Gala on November 10 will feature a series of interactive activities between brands and consumers to drum up excitement towards the countdown of 11.11. Katy Perry will be the headline performer and global ambassador of the event, as well as a line-up of other international celebrities which will be announced at a later date.
Online to Offline (O2O) Initiatives
This year’s 11.11 will showcase Alibaba’s ability to seamlessly integrate data obtained online with offline activities, including marketplace data, logistics, media, and entertainment. Alibaba believes that the future of commerce is not pure e-commerce, but an integrated, holistic online and offline experience. Below are a few examples of the power of O2O during 11.11:
- Alibaba will release a location-based augmented reality (AR) mobile game about two weeks before November 11. Consumers can follow the Tmall Cat mascot on an adventure across the Alibaba online and offline retail ecosystem to earn special promotions and prizes. Participating merchants include Suning, Intime shopping malls, Beijing Joy City shopping mall, Shenzhen Coastal City shopping mall, as well as global brands such as Shanghai Disneyland, KFC and Starbucks.
- Alibaba is working with more than one million offline stores across various product categories to present consumers with an integrated online-to-offline experience across products, members and services.
Personalization through Big Data
Each user will have a unique and highly-personalized shopping experience for 11.11 this year. Driven by data, everything from product recommendations, search results, newsfeeds, to user-generated content etc., will be specifically tailored to the individual consumer.
- Consumers will enjoy highly relevant products and content that meets their interest and lifestyles.
- Brands and retailers will have the ability to customize their storefronts, product selection and marketing materials targeted at different demographics.
Buy Globally, Sell Globally
Globalization is a strategic long-term priority for Alibaba Group, with the ten-year goal of serving two billion consumers and supporting 10 million small businesses, brands and retailers globally. The 2016 11.11 Global Shopping Festival will take Alibaba another step forward in its globalization strategy with its “Buy Globally, Sell Globally” initiative.
- “Buy Globally”: Alibaba is the premium gateway to China for international brands and merchants to sell quality international products and services to Chinese consumers.
- “Sell Globally”: Alibaba is introducing a new pilot program to help global merchants sell beyond China. The company is in its early phases of expanding its infrastructure, including logistics and payments, in order to allow consumers overseas to purchase international products through Tmall. Hong Kong and Taiwan are the first markets outside mainland China where this will be available.
About the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival
The 11.11 shopping festival began in 2009 with participation from just 27 merchants as an event for Tmall.com merchants and consumers to raise awareness of the value in online shopping. Seven years later, 11.11 has become a global event with participating merchants in the tens of thousands, buyers in the millions, and total sales in the billions.
For additional history and facts from last year’s festival, as well as the latest news and updates on the 2016 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, please visit Alizila http://www.alizila.com.
About Alibaba Group
Alibaba Group’s mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere. The company aims to build the future infrastructure of commerce. It envisions that its customers will meet, work and live at Alibaba, and that it will be a company that lasts at least 102 years.