The Alibaba News Roundup is a weekly digest of events and happenings across the company. This week, we focus on our 11.11 Global Shopping Festival – the world’s largest e-commerce shopping event. This year, we feature two shopping windows and we provide some highlights from the first, which ran from Nov. 1-3, along with a preview of what our international e-commerce platforms have planned, new technologies we are putting to work for brands, companies and consumers and more.
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Key Numbers in Run-up to 11.11 Global Shopping Festival
This year’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival offers two shopping windows to increase support for merchants affected by Covid-19 and offer more opportunities for consumers to snatch up good deals. The initial sales window ran from Nov. 1-3 and saw brands notch some impressive numbers, heightening anticipation for Nov. 11, when the second window opens for 24 hours. Some highlights from the Nov. 1-3 promotion include:
Big 11.11 Plans from Lazada, AliExpress and Daraz
Alibaba’s international e-commerce platforms are gearing up for 11.11, looking to make participation and engagement better than ever this year.
New AI Technologies for Enhanced Shopping Experience
Increasingly, Chinese consumers are coming to Alibaba’s shopping sites as much for the experience as for consumption. This year, Alibaba’s shopping platforms introduced AI features to boost shoppers’ engagement and shopping experience. Virtual hosts will explain product details, respond to customer inquiries and play games with viewers during livestreaming sessions. The feature is based on DAMO Academy’s multi-module technology that includes Natural Language Processing (NLP), image recognition, Text-to-Speech (TTS) and cloud-rendering technology. As already mentioned, AliExpress will use the world’s first real-time livestreaming translation on an e-commerce platform, also tapping into DAMO Academy’s technology to provide live captions to shoppers outside China. Consumers shopping for furniture can take 3D virtual tours on Taobao. Home furnishing brands like IKEA will use Taobao’s computer graphics and 3D rendering technology to offer a more-immersive experience.
Doubling Down on Luxury
This year’s 11.11 has seen the number of luxury brands double from last year, with nearly 200 designer and luxury labels joining the shopping festival.
McDonald’s China and Alibaba to Launch Cross-Platform Storefront
Before the kickoff of this year’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, fast food chain McDonald’s China announced a collaboration with Alibaba to launch a cross-platform storefront to integrate membership, marketing, coupon sales, on-demand delivery and pick-up features for consumers. This is the latest implementation case of the Alibaba Business Operating System, which caters to brands’ specific digital transformation needs using different parts of Alibaba’s ecosystem. For this year’s shopping festival, McDonald’s is working with Taobao, Tmall, Alipay, Koubei and Ele.me to provide exclusive bucket meals. Moving ahead, Alibaba will create a dedicated platform for McDonald’s to access integrated analytics from its ecosystem to spot emerging trends, improve experiences and strengthen customer loyalty.
Beauty Brands Enjoying Strong Start at 11.11
Beauty has always been a popular category among Chinese shoppers during 11.11, and this year already looks to be the same, despite the coronavirus outbreak. Just 40 minutes into Nov. 1 sales, beauty products generated over RMB10 billion in GMV, and within the first hour, exceeded 150% year-over-year sales growth.
Awareness for ‘Sustainable Consumption’ on Rise for 11.11
Sustainable consumption is a key theme for this year’s 11.11. Millions of packages from Tmall merchants during the pre-sale period were shipped to Cainiao Smart Logistics Network’s bonded warehouses to be packaged using recyclable materials.