Alibaba 11.11 Global Shopping Festival Attracts more than 800 Mln Consumers

4:45:54 PM | 18/11/2020

This year’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival wrapped up with record-breaking success, attracting more than 800 million consumers across its 11-day run.

Alibaba Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang shared his thoughts about the evolution of 11.11 as well as the opportunities this year’s festival brought to emerging brands, in Shanghai on Monday 16 November.

“We recorded another successful 11.11 together with our consumers, merchants and partners global wide. The key of this success is the acceleration of digitalization of businesses. We all recognize how the pandemic has been accelerating the digitization which now has become a necessity rather than an option.” - Daniel Zhang, Alibaba Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

The First 11-Day Campaign

Originally founded as a single-day shopping festival in 2009 with just 27 participating merchants, 11.11 has grown over the years to become the world’s largest shopping event. This year’s festival took things even further, becoming the first edition to run for 11 days. Participating merchants were able to use the festival’s two shopping windows – the first being from November 1-3 and the second on November 11 – to maximize their business success, especially in the aftermath of COVID-19.

This extended campaign brought astounding results: RMB498.2 billion (US$74.1 billion) in gross merchandise volume (GMV) was generated between November 1-11, marking a 26% year-over-year increase compared to the same period last year, the highest growth rate in last three years.

“It was great to see that 11.11 could move to a new model … After 11 years of 11.11, we are now in our 12th anniversary, which was a great opportunity for a new beginning and for us to start a new journey.” Zhang shared at the 2020 Observing China Forum panel discussion.

On the benefits that the 11-day promotion brought to both consumers and merchants, Zhang said: “We observed that consumers made multiple purchases during this year’s 11-day campaign, and the expansion of shopping categories also brought a lot of benefits. At the same time, because of the pandemic, all merchants and businesses were motivated toward recovery and regrowth, which was why they looked forward to 11.11.”

- Generated RMB498.2 billion (US$74.1 billion) in GMV

- An increase of 26% compared to the same timeframe in 2019

- 583,000 orders per second during peak of activity

- Processed more than 2.32 billion delivery orders cumulatively

Change Is the Only Constant – A Festival that Always Evolves and Innovates

Zhang explained that Alibaba has had to constantly evolve to keep pace with the consumer demands of 11.11, especially this year, which he said was a new beginning for the festival.

“We wanted to explore a completely unique 11.11 by seeking change. On one hand, we needed to maximize the efficiency of resource allocation, while on the other hand, we wanted to be able to interact with consumers and to create better and more unforgettable experiences.”

Alibaba’s robust digital infrastructure has been instrumental in allowing 11.11 to continue evolving and growing in this manner. By optimizing the resources in its vast ecosystem, the company was able to handle 583,000 orders per second during peak activity this year, with its logistics arm Cainiao processing more than 2.32 billion delivery orders during the 11-day period. This year’s festival also saw the use of digital tools such as livestreaming to create immersive and engaging retail experiences for both consumers and merchants.

“The number of young consumers is increasing and the lifestyle habits of shoppers is also getting younger. In fact, what we are operating is a lifestyle, and we have to keep up with the times. I believe 11.11 needs to become even more entertaining and more inspiring, since customer needs are constantly changing. We must continue to innovate to meet their needs,” Zhang said.

Empowering Emerging Brands to Find Success

This year’s 11.11 saw more than 250,000 participating brands. While there was no shortage of big names, including Apple, L’Oréal and Nike, the festival was also the perfect opportunity for emerging brands to shine and promote their products to consumers. In fact, during this year’s festival, 357 emerging brands became top sellers in their respective subcategories.

- 2 million new products participated in 11.11 festival

- 357 emerging brands became top sellers in their respective subcategories

According to Zhang, emerging brands that were most successful possessed several key traits: They make functional, high-quality products with unique selling points; they target and connect directly with their audience; and they use their sales channels not just for transactions but also as platforms for consumer education and communication.

Brands with these characteristics were best able to leverage Alibaba’s tools and resources to achieve stellar results.

Duc Binh (Vietnam Business Forum)