Alibaba moves to set new Sin­gles’ Day shop­ping record

Global Times - Weekend - - NATION - By Xie Jun

China’s e-com­merce giant Alibaba Group Holdings is up­grad­ing its off­shore re­tail ex­pe­ri­ence to as­sist on­line sales, in an at­tempt to set a new record on Sin­gles’ Day, or the an­nual on­line shop­ping bo­nanza on Satur­day.

Last year’s event saw sales on tmall.com, the e-com­merce web­site un­der Alibaba, sur­pass 12 bil­lion yuan ($1.81 bil­lion), 3 bil­lion yuan higher than the fig­ure for 2015.

A state­ment Alibaba sent to the Global Times said the com­pany is in­te­grat­ing both on­line and off­line chan­nels to max­i­mize sales dur­ing the shop­ping car­ni­val.

This year, many brands’ off­line stores in as many as 200 coun­tries and re­gions have joined the car­ni­val with shop­ping dis­counts.

Over 15 mil­lion types of goods from 140,000 brands will be avail­able through tmall shop­ping plat­form, the Xin­hua News Agency re­ported.

Alibaba has also been try­ing to boost on­line sales by up­grad­ing the off­line shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence with the help from ad­vanced tech­nolo­gies. For ex­am­ple, Alibaba has set up off­line “pop-up” stores for sev­eral brands to help as­sist their on­line sales per­for­mance, and high-tech prod­ucts will be used to pro­vide a novel shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence.

The Global Times on Thurs­day vis­ited one of those pop-up stores, a store for Ja­panese cos­met­ics brand Shi­seido which would be open from Wed­nes­day to Sun­day at a shop­ping mall in Shang­hai.

Alibaba has in­stalled a dig­i­tal de­vice which would al­low cus­tomers to view how they would look like with Shi­seido’s lip­stick.

They can also press a but­ton on the dig­i­tal screen of that de­vice, which would help them shop on tmall.com on their mo­bile phones.

At a pop-up store for US brand Clar­isonic (skin­care ma­chine seller), the Global Times saw a large ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence dis­play stand.

Cus­tomers who scan the dis­play stand with their mo­bile phones can re­ceive a link to buy prod­ucts from brand’s tmall store.

Li Yi, a re­search fel­low at the Shang­hai Academy of So­cial Sciences’ In­ter­net Re­search Cen­ter, told the Global Times Fri­day that Alibaba’s on­line busi­ness has grown to the point that it needs to ex­plore new mar­kets with rapid ex­pan­sion po­ten­tials, which ex­plains why it has started to ex­plore off­line mar­kets.

Em­ploy­ees of an e-com­merce com­pany in the Changx­ing eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment zone, East China’s Zhe­jiang Prov­ince, pack prod­ucts Fri­day, sev­eral hours be­fore Sin­gles’ Day. Over a bil­lion de­liv­er­ies are ex­pected dur­ing this year’s shop­ping car­ni­val.

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