Alibaba adds Nov 1-3 to global event

Alibaba adds Nov 1-3 to global event

Chris Tung, chief marketing officer, Alibaba group.
Chris Tung, chief marketing officer, Alibaba group.

Alibaba, the global e-commerce behemoth, has added Nov 1-3 as another sales period for its 11.11 global shopping festival, scheduled for Nov 11, to boost sales amid the pandemic and capitalise on the rising growth of online retail.

"The pandemic has driven customer behaviour to change, with people living, working and shopping online, accelerating merchants' demand for digital transformation to capture the growth of the Chinese market," Chris Tung, chief of marketing of Alibaba Group, said during the company's virtual press conference about its 11.11 shopping event.

This is the 12th online shopping event this year.

For the first time, Alibaba provides two sales periods for the event, Nov 1-3 and Nov 11, Mr Tung said, noting this will give more time for brands to sell their products amid this challenging time as the site has 800 million customers in China.

Shoppers, meanwhile, will have more time to make purchasing decisions in the festive season, he said.

"For this year, we have over 2,600 international brands joining the 11.11 festival," Mr Tung said.

"Alibaba can be the growth engine for brands' digitalisation."

Consumers can expect 14 million products from 250,000 brands on Alibaba's Tmall, a Chinese-language website for business-to-consumer (B2C) operations, and Tmall Global, a cross-border marketplace where foreign brands can sell products directly to Chinese customers.

Scores of luxury brands, such as Prada and Cartier, join the festival for the first time.

Alibaba also aims to increase young customers on its platform, particularly Gen Z, by offering a wide variety of products to them, such as street fashion and tech items, on Tmall.

"We have 5,000 brands for the first time that will tap the young market," said Mr Tung.

Alvin Liu, president for Tmall import and export, said to reach broader international customers this year, Alibaba's cross-border e-commerce platform Kaola will be joining the 11.11 event.

Customers from 89 countries and markets will be able to access Tmall Global and Kaola, he said.

Last year, the total value of consumer goods imported into China was 1.5 trillion yuan, or more than US$200 billion, while online consumption penetration was only 6%, representing a huge potential for cross-border e-commerce.

"We see a huge demand from both mainland China and overseas for high quality products," said Mr Liu.

"There has been expansion of a variety of products from overseas, including pharmacy and farm goods."

For Chinese living in other Asian nations, they are entitled to free delivery when shopping during the 11.11 event.

Jessica Liu, co-president and regional head of commercial of Lazada Group, an Asean subsidiary of Alibaba, said e-commerce in Asean is expected to grow four times between now and 2025.

"We could pursue high growth and gain advantage from digital commerce infrastructure while leveraging Alibaba's digital economy and technology," said Ms Liu.

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