Alibaba Double Eleven shopping festival gets online-offline focus
Alibaba Group Holding is set to drive its omni-channel strategy of a seamless online-offline shopping experience to a new level at this year's "Double Eleven" festival by sharing customer information, merchandise management and logistic services with 180,000 bricks-and-mortar mainland stores.
Initiated by Alibaba in 2009, the annual event on November 11 has become the world's largest online shopping day, reaping a record 57.1 billion yuan in sales last year.
"Omni-channel retailing is one of the key initiatives for this year's 11.11 global shopping festival. It marks our first step in achieving the full integration of digital and physical commerce," said Jeff Zhang, Alibaba's president of China retail marketplaces.
Brands to join this year's event include American skincare product maker Estee Lauder, food producer Mars and Hong Kong jewellery chain Chow Tai Fook.
According to Alibaba, consumers will have access to products, prices, services, delivery options and membership benefits online as well as at the participating brands' physical stores during the festival.
Zhang said some retailers would set up experience zones in their physical stores where consumers could check displayed products and buy them at the discounted prices set for the event.
This year's festival will bring in six million products from more than 40,000 merchants and 30,000 brands. Of the brands, 5,000 are from countries including the United States, Europe, Japan and South Korea.
Alibaba is also planning to hold a television gala through the night of November 10 to the dawn of November 11.