Alibaba kicks off countdown to 11.11 buying bonanza

Alibaba Group kicked off its annual 11.11 shopping festival on 8 September, named this year as the “2015 Alibaba Group 11.11 Global Shopping Celebration”.

The group will also host its inaugural 11.11 countdown gala celebration, which will be directed by Chinese film director Feng Xiao Gang and held on November 10 and broadcast live in China.

O2O initiatives will continue to be the key focuses of Alibaba’s 11.11 this year. Approximately 100,000 brick-and-mortar stores in China such as Suning and Intime will establish strategic O2O collaboration agreements with Alibaba Group, which will cover marketing, customer management, post-sales management, logistics, and more.

Through these omni-channel initiatives, customers will be able to participate in the 11.11 shopping festival no matter if they are online or offline.

Daniel Zhang, Alibaba Group's chief executive officer, said there will be innovative new opportunities to improve the overall customer shopping experience.

“This year’s 11.11 focus will be on both globalization and O2O, as these are the core to our overall corporate strategy. In addition, this is the first time ever that Alibaba Group will have an 11.11 countdown event to promote the sales day to celebrate the potential for limitless innovation that technology has provided for all of us,” said Zhang.

“We are working closely with international brands, foreign governments, trade associations, and global retailers to make this year’s 11.11 shopping festival a truly and unprecedentedly global shopping experience for consumers, and a gateway for new brands and companies trying to reach the China marketplace and our 367 million active users.”

The 11.11 shopping festival began in 2009. Last year, more than 27,000 brands and merchants participated in Alibaba Group’s 11.11 shopping festival, which generated 278 million orders for a total of US$9.3 billion (RMB 57.1 billion) of gross merchandise volume (GMV) settled through Alipay on Alibaba’s China and international retail marketplaces, with mobile purchases accounting for 42.6% of total GMV.

Consumers from over 217 countries and regions were able to select from more than one million products through mobile applications and e-commerce websites.