Alibaba Kicks Off 6.18 Shopping Festival With Discounts and Livestreams  

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Alibaba Kicks Off 6.18 Shopping Festival With Discounts and Livestreams  

  • Consumers can buy goods from smartphones to Prada purses for less on Taobao and Tmall this month
  • Taobao Live are hosting 10,000 live-streaming sessions, including Apple’s first livestream on the platform

Alibaba Group’s digital marketplaces Taobao and Tmall are offering discounts on over 60 million products during pre-sales for this year’s 6.18 Mid-year Shopping Festival, one of China’s major retail events.

Between May 31 and June 3, every time consumers on business-to-consumer shopping app Tmall spend RMB300 or over, RMB50 ($7.85) will be automatically discounted from their bill. On the consumer-to-consumer platform Taobao they will save RMB30 for every RMB200 or over they spend.

On top of merchants’ offers, Taobao will subsidize consumer spending to the tune of RMB10 billion during the 6.18 shopping festival, appealing to the nation’s deal hunters.

“We will make maximum effort to scale up our investments in driving user growth and in building a prosperous ecosystem,” said Taobao & Tmall Group CEO Trudy Dai on May 18 as she laid out her strategy amid intense competition in the e-commerce industry and uncertain economic conditions.

This year’s 6.18 comes as China’s economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic. Consumers are still cautious about spending on big-ticket items and are searching for quality products at competitive prices, according to market analysts.

Retail analysts and investors closely monitor China’s major shopping festivals as barometers for consumer sentiment in the world’s second-largest economy.

Just in time for 6.18, Italian luxury brand Prada has released its popular Re-Edition 2000 recycled nylon Hobo underarm bag and reintroduced the classic Prada Galleria bag on Tmall.

6.18 Timetable

Consumers can reserve items at discounted prices on Taobao and Tmall during the pre-sales period, which started on May 26 and ended May 31. Shoppers can then pay for their reserved items at the checkout window from May 31 to June 3.

Tmall will begin a new round of offers from platform-operated stores on June 4, which will continue through June 13. Skincare products will be the first to be discounted, followed by fashion, household appliances, and then imported goods. Skincare, clothing, and home appliances will each have a 72-hour shopping window with special discounts, whilst imported goods will have a 24-hour window.

The main event starts on June 15, with the 6.18 discounts expiring on June 20.

6.18 Livestreaming Sessions
Taobao Live rolls out streaming sessions. Photo Credit: Taobao & Tmall Group

Going Live

More brands are leveraging livestreaming e-commerce in the run-up to 6.18 to create immersive shopping experiences and reach new consumers.

This shift includes consumer electronics giant Apple, which started showcasing its smartphones, tablets and computers during its inaugural livestream on Taobao Live, on May 31, the livestreaming shopping platform embedded in Taobao and Tmall apps.

Over 1.3 million people tuned in during the first hour to see Apple staff explain how to get the most out of its products.

Taobao Live is also giving small and medium-sized businesses the opportunity to catch the eye of shoppers.

During the 6.18 festival, Taobao Live will host 10,000 livestreaming sessions in 11 Chinese cities as part of a joint effort with local governments to incubate 3,000 livestreaming hosts and launch 1,000 streaming channels.

Taobao Live will host a livestreaming contest during 6.18, with the final winner taking home up to an RMB1 million cash prize.

Check out our deep dive on beauty companies’ performance during the early stages of the 6.18 shopping festival here

Click here to read more stories about Taobao & Tmall Group

6.18 Mid-Year Shopping FestivalAlibaba GroupE-CommerceGreater ChinaTaobaoTmall
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