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Alibaba generates $101.46b GMV in the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival 2020

Its digital infrastructure handled 583,000 orders per second during peak activity.

Alibaba Group’s 2020 11.11 Global Shopping Festival has generated a total of $101.46b (RMB498.2b) in gross merchandise volume (GMV) during the 11-day campaign from November 1 to 11, according to an announcement shared by the Group last Thursday.

This is an increase of 26% compared to the same timeframe in 2019. Against the backdrop of China’s continued economic and retail sentiment recovery, this year’s 11.11 presented new opportunities for merchants all over the world to establish and deepen their ties with consumers.

For the global technology company, 11.11 is a key event to raise the bar and strengthen its infrastructure services, as well as providing real scenarios for audition of new capabilities. Every year, brands, merchants, consumers, and ecosystem partners across Alibaba’s digital economy come together in the pursuit of these new heights.

"We already have millions of sellers on Taobao and more than 200,000 brands on Tmall, so we are paying close attention to medium and small brands. We want to let them grow more during 11.11, and so for example, from 1 to 3 November this year, we have given them more exposure and traffic," says Liu Bo, Vice President of Alibaba Group and General Manager of Tmall Marketing and Operations.

Alibaba has enabled a strong rebound for domestic and overseas merchants alike following the impact of the pandemic in China. Over 470 brands on Alibaba’s Tmall platform achieved more than $20.37m (RMB100m) in GMV during the 11.11 festival, showcasing the reach and strength of Alibaba’s digital infrastructure. Brands in the RMB100 million-club included Apple, L'Oréal, Haier, Estée Lauder, Nike, Huawei, Midea, Lancôme, Xiaomi, and Adidas.

Consumption patterns show a strong demand for imported products as a result of restrictions on overseas travel due to the pandemic. Consumers are also consciously spending to improve and support their personal health. According to Liu, the travel restrictions stimulated online consumption in China, which in turn caused an upturn in demand for purchasing overseas goods online.

Highlights from the 2020 11.11 Global Shopping Festival

Alibaba’s digital infrastructure handled 583,000 orders per second during peak activity, whilst its AI customer chatbot handled over 2.1 billion queries during the 11-day period, demonstrating the strength and scale of the company’s underlying technology platform. Cainiao Network, their logistics arm, processed more than 2.32 billion delivery orders cumulatively over the 11-day period.

Around 250,000 brands participated in 11.11 this year, of which 31,000 were overseas brands from markets including Singapore. Within these overseas brands, 2,600 participated in 11.11 for the first time.

Moreover, 357 emerging brands became top sellers in their respective subcategories, whilst more than 1,800 emerging brands surpassed their GMV from 11.11 last year and, of these, 94 emerging brands enjoyed sales growth of over 1,000%.

Livestreaming as a marketing tool

Executives from Alibaba also provided insights into the important role livestreaming played during 11.11, as well as key developments and new achievements this year. Whilst livestreaming is still being explored in other parts of the world, it has already taken firm root in China’s e-commerce landscape. The livestreaming e-commerce market is also estimated to grow to $204.7b (RMB1t).

During 11.11 this year, over 30 livestreaming channels featured on Taobao Live each generated more than $20.37m (RMB100m) in GMV. Both livestreaming and gamification were amongst the key highlights of this 11.11, and created new opportunities for brands to interact with consumers through more engaging environments.

In the wake of the impact of COVID-19, Taobao Live has been helping retailers recover and expand their capabilities through a suite of online-to-offline solutions. From March to June this year, the number of livestreaming viewers grew by 160% YoY. Merchants’ uptake continues to increase in step, with the growth in the number of participating merchants reaching 220% YoY.

Livestreaming is also shifting from primarily KOL-driven to brands hosting their own store-based sessions. 11.11 this year saw 60% of Taobao Live sessions being hosted by merchants themselves.

In addition, 300 celebrities and 400 brand and business leaders used Taobao’s livestreaming studio for the first time to promote their products, demonstrating how livestreaming is evolving into a standard marketing tool.

Empowering merchants

Another big focus this year is to empower participating merchants and brands with new capabilities available via the Alibaba Business Operating System (ABOS) – from brand incubation, livestreaming e-commerce, membership, brand building, sales and marketing, and tools for consumer engagement.

For example, the group is encouraging manufacturers to move up the value chain and create a brand of their own. Through the ABOS-powered incubation process and support by Alibaba, some of these manufacturers are now the top 10 or 20 selling brands in terms of GMV for their product category.

Furthermore, over 1.2 million merchants and 300,000 factories focused on overseas trade from more than 2,000 industry clusters across China participated in 11.11, under Alibaba’s Spring Thunder initiative.

The United States is the top country selling to China by GMV. Other top-selling countries to China include Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, and the UK.

Liu added that the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival is for consumers. More than being just a shopping festival, this year’s positive mottos like “Cheer up” and “Have a great life together” were designed to encourage more people from different backgrounds and demographics to participate in this truly global event.

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