Alibaba’s 11.11 global shopping festival to exceed last year’s target

China saw a 70.2% growth in e-commerce sales this year and the pandemic itself has played a single-handed role in this phenomenal growth 

by S BIRRUNTHA / pic by BLOOMBERG

ALIBABA Group Holding Ltd is optimistic about its overall results for the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival this year.

For last year, the group generated US$74.1 billion (RM306 billion) in gross merchandise volume (GMV) during its 11-day campaign, which was a 26% increase compared to the same period in 2019.

Its CMO Chris Tung said the e-commerce giant from China is very optimistic about the result of the festival this year. 

He added that more importantly, the group is committed to building a better future for the economy and online consumption. 

“Certainly, the pandemic has casted an undeniable toll on the economy and the society as a whole. 

“But what we are seeing right now is the pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of our business partners and merchants across different industries. The e-commerce environment has been very vibrant. 

“With the push by the pandemic, it is accounting more of the retail business in China and we continue to see more and more consumers come into the franchise and learn how to live a digital life by the convenience that e-commerce provided,” he said during Alibaba Group 2021 11.11 Global Shopping Festival virtual press conference for the Asia-Pacific (APAC) yesterday. 

Tung noted that China saw a 70.2% growth in e-commerce sales this year and the pandemic itself has played a single-handed role in this phenomenal growth. 

He said the objective of this year’s festival is to leverage Alibaba’s latest technology to support the brands, as well as the merchants to drive sustainable and inclusive growth in a more efficient way. 

“Over the last 12 years, 11.11 has showcased the tremendous consumption power of Chinese consumers and pushed boundaries for the global retail sector. 

“This year’s festival marks a new chapter for 11.11. We believe we must leverage the power of 11.11 to encourage sustainable development and promote inclusiveness to consumers, merchants and partners across our ecosystem,” he added. According to Tung, this year marks the largest festival for Alibaba to date, with a record of 290,000 participating brands.

Tmall.com or formerly known as Taobao Mall, operated in China by Alibaba, is offering more than 14 million deals to over 900 million consumers in China. 

Tung noted that the festival will once again have two sales windows, namely the first will be from Nov 1 to Nov 3, and the second will be on Nov 11, on the day of the main event. 

“Live-streaming will be a key consumer engagement mechanism for brands and merchants to build awareness and drive sales. 

“Starting on Oct 20 throughout the Festival, Taobao Live will feature 700 leading key opinion leaders (KOLs), celebrities and brand representatives in livestream sessions,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Tung said Tmall will roll out a new feature for users to share their “shopping cart” items with friends and family, creating a more social shopping experience. 

He also noted that Tmall is taking action to promote “green” lifestyles this 11.11 by featuring a dedicated vertical to showcase energy-efficient and low-impact products, as well as issuing “green” 

vouchers to incentivise shopping decisions that contribute to an environmentally-friendly lifestyle. 

He said Alibaba’s logistics arm Cainiao Network will introduce package recycling across 10,000 Cainiao post stations in 20 cities to reduce the festival’s carbon footprint beginning on Nov 1, the first day of the first 11.11 sales period. 

With increased use of green technology, he said Alibaba expects to further reduce the carbon emission per order during this year’s 11.11. 

“Supporting vulnerable populations is also a key theme this year. 

“Consumers are encouraged to share their “Goods for Good” purchases with their friends and family, and Alibaba will make a RMB1 donation for every successful social media share,” he added. 

Launched in 2006, Alibaba’s “Goods for Good” programme enables merchants to donate a portion of their sales to charitable organisations of their choice, while consumers can support their favourite charitable causes through their purchases. 

The donations from this year’s festival will provide support to three major beneficiary groups such as elderly citizens living in solitude, “left-behind children” in remote areas and low-income workers.