Over the past eight years, the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival has transitioned from a flash sale with a heavy emphasis on fire-sale prices to a sort of living laboratory for retail and marketing innovations. While previous years focused on meeting the demands of an unprecedented growth in scale, 2016 was all about consumer engagement: virtual reality, augmented reality, live-streaming and real-time interactivity.
Not every experiment is a success, of course, but the numbers generated during 11.11 show that consumers responded to these new technologies in a big way. How big? The Countdown Celebration Gala drew 7.4 billion interactions—with a “b”—in the form of “likes” on Tmall and Taobao, shakes of the phone to win discounts for the sale and other games.
VR, AR and live-streaming proved popular as well. Check out the infographic below for the future of retailing: