The Alibaba News Roundup is a weekly digest of events and happenings across the company. With less than 24 hours before 11.11 Global Shopping Festival activities commence in Hangzhou, our focus is on what to expect in the lead up to and during the second sales window that opens at midnight. We detail how international brands have localized their strategies to capture the attention of trend-seeking Chinese consumers. And we take a look back at stellar results from Alibaba’s travel platform, Fliggy, during the first sales window of Nov. 1-3.
To receive the latest news directly in your inbox, sign up for the weekly Alizila newsletter.
11.11’s Second Sales Window Ready to Open
Over 250,000 brands are ready to go as the second sales window of the 2020 11.11 Global Shopping Festival opens tonight. There will be more than 16 million discounted products, with even more markdowns and promotions than the festival’s first sales phase. Among these items, more than 1 million are popular goods that are shipped to China as brands rearrange their inventories globally to meet the high demand of Chinese consumers, and more than 3 million are put on an offer in the festival for the very first time.
The sixth annual 11.11 Gala will kick off at 7:30 p.m., local time, on Nov. 10 in Shanghai’s Mercedes-Benz Arena. The show will feature more than 100 artists, including American singer-songwriter Katy Perry and action star Jackie Chan.
The virtual gala will be broadcast and livestreamed in more than 200 countries and regions via local TV stations and online channels, including Taobao Live and Youku.
This year’s event will be more interactive than ever before, with games and lucky draws, giving consumers prizes and coupons totaling RMB 500 million(USD $75.7 million). Consumers who invite family and friends to participate will be eligible to win special deals on products.
Robert Lin, the Gala producer and vice president of Youku, said the 11.11 Gala would also tap cutting-edge stage technology, with 700 moving LED screens creating a 5D immersive live experience. And for those watching on smartphones, the livestreaming experience will be improved using AI technologies and motion sensors.
International Brands Tapping Tmall Platforms to Launch New Products
11.11 is an event at which many international brands unveil new products and innovations to China’s trend-seeking consumers across multiple categories. Brands use the opportunity to offer special discounts and incentives to consumers, making big-ticket items and premium imported products even more affordable. This year, luxury and designer brands are working closely with the three-year-old Tmall Luxury Pavilion, which showcases nearly 200 leading brands to China’s luxury-goods shoppers.
For this 11.11, French luxury fashion house Balenciaga launched its classic Track sneaker and Hourglass handbag in new colors as part of its 2021 Spring/Summer collection.
Another French designer brand, Chloé, is participating in 11.11 for the first time. Its signature handbags quickly sold out during the first sales window. In addition to quickly restocking popular items, the brand has launched a Tmall-exclusive lineup of Chloé X Fusalp for the second sales window, a heritage collaboration inspired by chic skiwear from the 1970s.
Five-Star Hotels Achieve Stellar Results on Fliggy
As domestic tourism recovers rapidly from the Covid-19 pandemic in China earlier this year, many world-class hotel groups are seeing strong results through Alibaba Group’s travel-services platform, Fliggy. International hotel brands customized their deals for 11.11, with some offering prices up to 30% off for regular nightly rates. French hospitality company Accor, which owns hotel chains such as Sofitel, Fairmont and Novotel, has seen a significant bump in sales compared to the previous year since the shopping festival began last week.
Consumers purchased more than 600,000 packages from Accor, Marriot, Hyatt, Hilton, InterContinental, Shangri-La and other five-star hotel groups during the first 11.11 sales window. Marriott and Accor each notched RMB 1 billion (USD $151.4 million) worth of transactions during 11.11 for the first time.
On Monday, Accor stocked its Fliggy flagship store with a new round of offerings to excite shoppers, which used consumer insights from Fliggy. For example, its 5-night “Happy Hour” hotel package, priced at only RMB 1919(USD $291) allows check-in after 8:00 p.m. as insights revealed that some Fliggy shoppers prefer to arrive after dinner. Its flagship store followers have increased by nearly three times since 11.11 kicked off.
Shanghai Disney Resort packages priced at RMB 1,499(USD $228), InterContinental hotel packages priced at RMB 999(USD $151) and other popular staycation products all sold out during the first sales window.
Livestreaming is also adopted at a larger scale. Hainan Airlines, for example, had quickly trained 37 of its flight attendants to become livestreamers following the Covid-19 outbreak. During 11.11 presales, one of its flight attendants’ livestream sessions on Fliggy had helped sell nearly RMB 80 million(USD 12.1 million) worth of plane tickets and other travel products in just two hours.
Tmall Ideal City Revealed
One of the key highlights of 2020 11.11 Global Shopping Festival is the launch of Tmall Ideal Cities in multiple locations in China. Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olmpic Winter Games and Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 have just unveiled the Tmall Ideal City in Wangfujing, Beijing with Tmall. The venue is packed with interactive games, livestreaming sessions, fan meets with young idols and more. The organizers said they hope to create more hype around winter sports games among Chinese youngsters and help contribute to economic development of the winter sports industry.
Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest Alibaba updates in your inbox every week.