Alibaba News Roundup: 6.18 Mid-Year Shopping Festival Kicks Off

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Alibaba News Roundup: 6.18 Mid-Year Shopping Festival Kicks Off



This week, Alibaba kicked off its 6.18 Mid-Year Shopping Festival with 250,000 participating brands, more than double that of last year’s event. The company’s retail innovation arm TMIC unveiled its plans to support product development for brands in 2021. We also look at Alibaba Health’s annual results, and how Cainiao, Alibaba’s logistics arm, is partnering with Ukraine’s national post to improve the cross-border delivery experience.

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6.18 Mid-Year Shopping Festival Officially Underway

Alibaba launched its largest-ever 6.18 sales event on Monday, featuring 250,000 brands and 1.4 million new products on offer. Unlike previous years, the shopping festival kicked off at 8 p.m. instead of midnight. Consumers tuned into livestreaming to watch their favorite hosts and KOLs and to win special vouchers to use throughout the shopping festival. The platform also launched a new “Tmall List” feature, which are curated shopping guides for consumers looking for inspiration on what to buy. These product rankings are scored based on a range of criteria, such as their popularity among consumers, bang for the buck and reviews from experts.

During the presales period, many shoppers received their purchases the next day. This was thanks to Cainiao’s express-delivery service, allowing 95% of its orders to be delivered within the same or the next day. Additionally, Cainiao is rolling out 5,000 parcel pick-up stations in remote villages and towns in China to expedite deliveries, in light of surging demand from lower-tier cities this 6.18.

Tmall Innovation Center Gets Upgrade for 2021

During its annual conference on Wednesday, Alibaba’s retail innovation unit announced plans to work with brands this year to co-develop 300 new products, each capable of generating RMB10 million, and 3,000 products that reach sales of over RMB1 billion – doubling the milestones it achieved last year. Nestlé became the latest company to join TMIC’s agile-manufacturing initiative, which helps brands reshuffle and refine their global supply chains to build more-flexible production capacities and quickly innovate products for the Chinese market. This week, TMIC also launched “T-Lab,” a new partnership with chemical giant BASF and fragrance and flavor maker Givaudan. Together, they will tap into real-time consumer feedback to develop future-proof materials, ingredients and scents, which in turn, can help other consumer brands design on-trend products – starting from the beginning of the manufacturing cycle.

Alibaba Health Reports FY2021 Results

On Tuesday, Alibaba Group’s healthcare arm reported rapid growth in revenue and gross profit – respectively increasing by 61.7% and 62.1% year on year – in the year ending March. The company attributed this growth to the strong performance of its e-commerce platform business and pharmaceutical direct sales business. In addition to drug sales, Alibaba Health has also been exploring new ways to upgrade the customer experience, such as rolling out 24/7 on-demand delivery services. Today, Alibaba Health offers 30-minute deliveries in about 30 cities and 1-hour delivery service in more than 300 locations across China. It also continues to invest in online-to-offline solutions, including through its “Dr. Deer” app, which allows consumers to search for medical information and products, book appointments and consult doctors online. As of the end of March, Alibaba Health sees an average of 180,000 online consultations carried out on its platforms per day.

Cainiao and Ukraines National Post Launch Free Parcel-Tracking Service

Ukraine’s national post Ukrposhta and Alibaba’s logistics arm Cainiao have launched a new tracking service this week to ensure better and safer delivery for all parcels ordered through Alibaba’s global consumer marketplace, AliExpress. Starting this week, sellers and consumers will be able to easily track the status of all international packages handled by the two companies – with no additional costs. Ukraine is a major market for AliExpress and ranks among its top 10 regions in terms of revenue.

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