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The ecommerce giant is to have 100 Hema stores in China by December 2018.

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Alibaba has wrapped up its 11.11 Global Shopping Festival with a record breaking US$30.8bn of GMV (gross merchandise volume), a 27% growth compared to last year.

11.11 by numbers

According to Alibaba Group, more than 180,000 brands participated it the festival this year. Over 40% of consumers bought from international brands. 237 brands topped US$14m (CNY100m) in GMV, including leading international brands Apple, Dyson, Kindle, Estée Lauder, L’Oréal, Nestle, Gap, Nike and Adidas. The top countries for international brands sold were Japan, the U.S., South Korea, Australia and Germany.

Alibaba-owned Cainiao Smart Logistics Network handled more than 1bn orders for the first time for the festival. It has upgraded its technology and systems, even relying on satellites to improve the efficiency of its delivery partners. Lazada also held its own single-day shopping festival in its six Southeast Asian markets.

New Retail a highlight

Alibaba’s Hema Fresh, its supermarket chain, featured a number of promotions for 11.11. The 200,000 mom-and-pop stores powered by Alibaba’s Ling Shou Tong platform also provided online promotions. Rural Taobao added coupons to its services in 800 counties across 29 provinces in China.

Leading hypermarket operator RT-Mart, which Alibaba has invested, also participated in the festival.

"Today, around 200,000 smart stores joined November 11," Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang said, "As we always say, we truly believe the first thing for brick-and-mortar stores who want to go New Retail to do is to go digital … For all those retail partners, why they actively participated was not because it was a shopping day, but because it was a day to give people a unique experience."

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Alibaba Group has released its Q2 results for the three months ending in September. Revenue increased 54% to CNY85.1bn (US$12.3bn) for the same comparable period last year.

Strong momentum into Singles' Day

Alibaba has posted an impressive set of Q2 results. Net income attributable to shareholders increased 13% to CNY20bn (US$2.9bn) YoY. While the number of annual active customers increased by 25m to reach 601m. Ahead of the retailer's 10th annual shopping event held on 11.11, the retailer has recorded significant growth across the business.

  • Revenue from core commerce increased 56% YoY to CNY72.4bn (US$10,553m)
  • Revenue from cloud computing increased 90% YoY to CNY5.6bn (US$825m)
  • Revenue from digital media and entertainment increased 24% YoY t to CNY5.9bn (US$865m)
  • Revenue from innovation initiatives and others increased 20% YoY toto CNY1.1bn (US$155m)

Future outlook

Alibaba has revised its revenue forecast for the fiscal year down by 4-6% to a range of CNY375bn (US$54.4bn) and CNY383bn (US$55.6bn). It expects total revenue to grow between 54-56%, remaining in line with growth seen in Q2.

The retailer's New Retail strategy will continue to play an important role, especially in bricks-and-mortar supermarkets Hema Fresh. Alibaba first introduced these stores one a half years ago. For the September quarter, online sales accounted for 60% turnover. The retailer ended Q2 with 77 Hema Fresh stores, and further expansion has been outlined.

Counting down to 11.11

Read more about Alibaba's Singles' Day here.

We look at how Auchan is expanding its channel presence in Vietnam.

Auchan expands partnership with Alibaba

Auchan and Alibaba have extended their partnership to Vietnam and announced plans to develop the “phygital food business” in the country. The retailer stated, "The partnership between these two companies aims to offer Vietnamese consumers a customer experience that combines the best of physical food trade and the best of digital".

Auchan products will be available to purchase on Alibaba’s online shopping platform, LazMall. The platform will offer a range of private labels and branded products, available from store delivery. Shoppers can choose from same-day, next-day or low-cost delivery options.

The partnership between Auchan and Alibaba in China has yet to lead to a strong recovery in sales growth, but has seen the retailers launch several initiatives. The agreement has accelerated the integration of offline and online channels, enabling shoppers to move between them more easily.

The online giant’s upcoming mega shopping event will be the largest ever in terms of scale and reach this year.

Multi-country and multi-platform

To mark the event’s 10th anniversary, Alibaba is bringing the event to international shoppers via its multiple platforms, including Tamll World, AliExpress and Lazada this year.

Lazada, a Singapore based ecommerce site, will host the festival for the first time across six countries in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

All-in ecosystem and multiple touchpoints

Businesses across the Alibaba ecosystem will be all-in for this year’s event to create multiple touchpoints under Alibaba’s New Retail Strategy.

It will include core ecommerce sites such as Tmall and Taobao, food deliveries service Ele.me, lifestyle service Koubei, supermarket chain Hema, hypermarket RT-Mart, department store Suning and other company’s retail units.

The “See Now, Buy Now” 2018 fashion show is to be broadcast live on Alibaba’s video platform Youku, social media platform Weibo and Taobao app.

Google and Line will also team up with Alibaba to promote the event.

The world’s biggest online shopping event

180,000 brands covering 3,700 categories from 75 countries will participate the 2018 11.11 Global Shopping Festival.

Alibaba hopes to smash last year’s record breaking revenue of US$25.3bn, which was about five times the online sales for Black Friday in the US. This year, Alibaba aims to bring in one billion orders in 24 hours, especially given that the day falls on a Sunday this year. The event is expected to become the world’s biggest online shopping festival.

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