On October 19, e-commerce giant Alibaba formally kicked off this year’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, also known as the Single’s Day festival, in Beijing. Originally designed by Daniel Zhang, the current CEO of Alibaba Group, in 2009, 11.11 has become a milestone e-commerce sales festival for the whole industry in China.
Starting from midnight October 20, 500,000 products available on Tmall will be available for pre-order. Around 180,000 domestic and global brands are hoping to woo the Chinese online consumption market. Early on October 15, Alibaba staff in Hangzhou set up tents inside an office building to prepare for the annual shopping mania.
A highlight for 2018 is Tmall’s cooperation with Lazada Group, a Southeast Asian e-commerce group which took a $2 billion investment from Alibaba in May and is having the China giant as the major stake controller with more than 83% Lazada shares in hand.
Alibaba said Lazada Group will host “its first 11.11 Shopping Festival across six countries in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam”, and offer “the biggest discounts of the year from LazMall and Lazada marketplace.”
Additionally, the 2018 event is hoping to integrate more offline partnership projects. Alibaba’s delivery platform Ele.me will deliver Starbucks coffee and snacks for selected stores in 11 cities around the country. The service was set up to combat local startup Lukin Coffee’s aggressive moves in the market. TechNode reached out to Alibaba for any unique Starbucks delivery offers for the 2018 11.11, but did not receive any update by the time of publication.
Koubei, a lifestyle and city service unit of Alibaba, just merged with Ele.me last week, will have over 100,000 merchants partners offer 50% discount to services including catering, beauty, and karaoke bars. Hema supermarket, Alibaba’s New Retail frontier, has plans for special buys too.
In 2017, Alibaba’s total gross merchandise value achieved during the festival period hit $25.3 billion. However, with increasing competition and China’s slowing growth, 11.11 festival no longer means easy money. Earlier today (October 19), JD.com also kicked off its 11.11 sales event. The company will extend the closing date of its JD event to November 15, to have 27 days for revenue generation.
Further, according to Alibaba, Rural Taobao, Alibaba’s service targeting less-developed areas, will offer coupons in 29 provinces’ 800 counties.