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Singles' Day is fast approaching, we review Alibaba's plans for 11.11 ahead of the events' six years anniversary.
Alibaba's annual Global Shopping Festival, 11.11, will bring together shoppers, retailers, suppliers and financial institutions from around the world to experience Alibaba's vision on the future of retail. The retailer's latest strategy, New Retail, aims to blend online, offline and big data to reinvent retail.
To showcase this concept during the event, Alibaba will collaborate with 52 shopping malls to set up 60 New Retail concept pop-up stores across 12 cities in China. See our Hema Fresh report to see an example. The 24-hour online sale itself will be available across Alibaba's marketplaces, and feature over 140,000 brands and 15 million product listings globally.
Image source: alizila.com
Alibaba are running several different initiatives prior to the 11.11 festival. Tmall, for example, are broadcasting an interactive fashion show, with models and celebrities showcasing a range of different items. During the fashion show, viewers will also be able to make real-time purchases from their mobile phones.
New Retail experiences such as facial-recognition payment, will be made available in converted 'smart stores' across nearly 100,000 stores in 31 provinces and 334 cities in China. Pop-up stores for cosmetics, for example, will offer experiences through augmented reality for make-up and lipstick trials.
Alibaba will utilise media and entertainment to drive online engagement, with celebrities, well-known singers and movie stars to feature during the Singles' Day countdown. This will be broadcasted live on satellite TV channels Zhejiang TV, Shenzhen TV and Beijing TV. To drive further appeal, there will be an AR game on Mobile Taobao App called Catch the Cat and red envelopes will be shared amongst consumers through various games.
Alibaba is accelerating the shopper journey for consumers in China through connectivity. Consumers will be able to experience Alibaba's New Retail concept during 11.11 at community stores like Rural Taobao service centres and neighbourhood convenience stores. Longer term, Alibaba is planning to launch a new smaller format store in Shanghai, based on the Hema Fresh model. Smaller formats require less capital and can be expanded more rapidly and could prove to be a more cost effective solution.
Alibaba Group’s chief marketing officer, Chris Tung said, this year’s event “brings consumers around the world a step closer to realising the aspirational life where entertainment and retail become one. [...] regardless of their physical location, consumers will be able to participate in more experiences than ever before this year, all showing the reality of New Retail. We start today but this is a festival with nearly two weeks of celebration and so many different ways to participate.'
In previous years, Alibaba has used Singles' Day to test the capability of new innovations, and it seems that this year will prove to be no different. New Retail aims to offer consumers a better experience - perhaps they are close to achieving what retail might look like in the future.