Beijing, November 10, 2015 ‐ As November 11th, or “11.11” season approaches, have you done any online shopping? Have you experienced fresh agricultural products delivered straight to your door? Are more than 60% of your orders processed through mobile devices? If your answer to any of these questions is “No”, then you’ve been out of the loop in regards to online shopping for the last few years.
Ever since Tmall launched the “11.11” Shopping Festival in 2011, Alibaba has reaped impressive sales year after year: USD3.0 billion in 2012, USD5.6 billion in 2013 and USD9.1 billion in 2014. The magical “11.11” season has become a symbolic carnival for online shopping in China.
Based on her analysis, IDC ’s Research Manager Yolanda Zhang concludes that Alibaba’s “11.11” season in 2015 will not be just an ordinary shopping festival. Rather, it will skillfully cater to the consumer demands including hardware upgrades, related policies, and industrial upgrading, pushing the business turnover to a new high.
IDC predicts that Alibaba’s turnover on the day of November 11, 2015 will approach USD13.0-USD13.8 billion, with up to 360 million parcels delivered. Other figures worth noting are that during the 2015 “11.11” season, almost 80% of Alibaba’s consumers will browse the online store for goods using a mobile device and almost 65% of the merchandise will be paid via mobile devices.
Alibaba’s “11.11” shopping festival will have the following five highlights this year:
1) A clear trend of globalization. On one hand, goods from other parts of the world flow into China. Alibaba data show that during the “11.11” period, Alibaba will gather more than 5,000 overseas brands from 25 countries and regions, including the United States, Europe, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Thailand, the United Kingdom and France, covering maternal and child products, cosmetics, food, fresh produce, clothing and a full-range of imported items. These goods will come from department stores, supermarkets, duty-free shops and other retail business, and can meet the urgent needs of China's urban consumer groups aged 20-40. On the other hand, goods with Alibaba’s newly introduced quality assurance specification of “Quality from China” will enter the global market. This specification is a tag that items sold on Alibaba platforms may qualify for, and aims to reintroduce China-made goods to the global market as high quality products. Centering on Russia, Spain, UK, France, Israel and other key countries and regions, Alibaba’s “AliExpress” storefront for international customers will bring Chinese goods to 64 countries and regions along the route of “One Belt One Road”.
2) Cainiao Logistics’ global smart network will reveal its strengths. Firstly, on the domestic front, the Alibaba Group’s logistics arm Cainiao Logistics has begun comprehensive strategic cooperation with Suning Logistics. As the two parties connect and integrate their logistical systems, the effectiveness of bulk product logistics will be greatly accelerated. Secondly, in regards to international logistics, data shows that Cainiao has now integrated 49 global logistics partners onto its network, including Yanwen Express, 4PX Express, Singapore Post, Royal Mail, ZTO, YTO, EMS, IC, Zebra etc. Its logistics network spans 224 countries and regions worldwide, with a global logistics and daily processing capacity of over 4 million orders. CAINIAO now has 74 international warehouses and 16 designated international shipping lines. All of these systems in place are designed to greatly enhance the shopping experience at the Last Mile.
3) A C2B model of production promotion through sales /discounts is emerging. Compared with 2014, there will be a notable increase in the number of goods purchased through preorder discounts during this year's “11.11” season. From clothing & apparel to jewelry, from fresh products to automobiles, from personal care products to home items and building materials, and particularly international maternal and child products, healthcare products and fresh produce, all have joined the ranks of goods for preorder sales. Alibaba can rely on its powerful data system to eliminate to an extent material and resource consumption redundancy.
4) Establishment of shopping ecosystems. On one hand, mobile shopping will take the forefront of the online shopping experience. Alibaba will gather more resources and shift towards both the buyer and seller aspects of the mobile experience. On the other hand, Alibaba has already established solid partnerships and relationships with Suning, Yintai and other offline vendors through capital operations and can meet consumer demand for a good shopping experience through all channels. It is reported that in 2015 Alibaba will work with 180,000 shopping malls and stores in more than 330 cities across China and connect consumers with the stores and products they desire during the “11.11” season.
5) Through multimedia interaction, a new “Consumer Entertainment” shopping experience will crafted. During the “11.11” period, Alibaba will team up with well-known Chinese film director Zhang Yimou and Hunan Satellite TV to stage an evening show at the National Stadium in Beijing, and will feature a famous lineup of stars. Although the evening show is merely a way for Alibaba to promote its platform through a variety show, this event will combine aspects of variety shows, celebrity games and mobile shopping to create a novel experience. Through TV, the Internet, mobile phone and other platforms, consumers around the world can buy goods while enjoying the experience. This shopping model through multimedia interaction may well be something for people to look forward to.
From large companies like Jingdong, Amazon, Suning, and Gome, to medium vendors like VIP and JUMEI, and small sellers like MIA, all e-commerce vendors will compete for their chance to shine during the 2015 “11.11” season. However, none will reach the main stage that is dominated by the Alibaba family.