Retail in Asia

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Bulletin : Alibaba 2018 11.11 Global shopping festival

Bulletin : Alibaba 2018 11.11 Global shopping festival

The world’s big 24-hour shopping event turns 10 this year.

A showcase for new, innovative and engaging ways to shop for the past decade, this year is no exception.

SEE ALSO : What to expect from China’s 2018 Singles’ Day ?

Here are 10 things that make 11.11 special this year.

AI-supported multi-language tools

To help global shoppers enjoy the upcoming Festival, Alibaba has developed an AI translation tool that helps remove potential language barriers between sellers and buyers.

The online chat room tool, launched on Lazada last week, supports instant translation between English and Thai, English and Vietnamese, and English and Indonesian.

AliExpress, Alibaba’s global online retail platform, also offers an AI translation tool that links English speakers with those talking in Chinese, Russian, Spanish, French, Arabic and Turkish.

In addition, over 800,000 merchants on Taobao and Tmall will deploy Dian Xiaomi, an AI-powered customer-service chatbot, to handle customer inquiries during the festival.

AI video editing helps merchants promote their products

Alibaba Wood, an AI video-editing tool for brands to generate short videos about their products, will be available to some merchants during the festival.

The editing tool can pull key text and images from the product page to create – in less than a minute – a 20-second promotional video.

The visuals are matched to the rhythm and flow of background music, chosen by an algorithm that factors in human emotions to arouse shoppers’ interest.

The tool is expected to help small merchants save on the cost of promotions as they prepare for the big online sale event.

The largest smart warehouse in China

Alibaba’s logistics unit Cainiao has opened China’s largest smart robot warehouse in the city of Wuxi in Jiangsu Province, as it upgrades its technology for 11.11.

Overall, Cainiao’s network has linked 30 million square meters of warehousing around the world, involving more than three million logistics personnel.

While improvements in technology – particularly IoT and robotics – are evident
across the entire delivery process, Cainiao’s new smart warehouse stands out.

With 700 automated guided vehicles, or AGVs, the new warehouse is located in
Cainiao’s first IoT Future Park in Wuxi.

The IoT technology in the warehouse can automatically direct AGVs to drive, load and unload. The system will plan the best routing for the AGVs to avoid collision and intelligently distribute parcels.

Some 50% more orders can be fulfilled by the entire warehouse compared with a traditional facility over the same time period.

Red hot imports

Open from Nov. 2-6, Tmall Global’s offline exhibition of six country pavilions in the Shanghai Oriental Pearl Tower will showcase various 11.11 offerings from England, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Indonesia and Canada.

Further discounts for 88 VIP members

Premium members will enjoy a 5% discount on 388 brands on Taobao and Tmall, on top of other special offers during 11.11.

Star-studded gala

This year’s Countdown Gala, to be held on Nov. 10 in Shanghai’s Mercedes-Benz Arena, will feature international stars such as singer Coco Lee, Australian model Miranda Kerr, the dance group Kinjaza and circus group Cirque du Soleil.

The Gala will be broadcast live on two leading satellite TV channels – Zhejiang TV and Shanghai TV.


In the lead up to 11.11, has launched various promotions in partnership with dining brands, including McDonalds, KFC, Starbucks, Wu Fang Zhai, and Haidilao.

Consumers can enjoy special half-price discounts or offers for as little as RMB1.

This is the first time that the on-demand delivery and local service platform join 11.11.

In addition, consumers can also order deliveries on for groceries, fruit, flowers, pastries and medicines, with promotion products from several popular brands, including Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Hershey, Budweiser and Nestle, offered at RMB0.01, RMB0.99 and RMB3.

Oranges from “Future farm” powered by Rural Taobao

For the first time, Rural Taobao is bringing oranges from its “future farm” to consumers’ tables.

In a remote county in Hubei province, farmers are transforming traditional ways of farming through Alibaba’s technologies.

The farm is equipped with integrated irrigation facilities, meteorological sensors and drones.

An electronic map shows real-time crop growth and information about the latest agricultural operations.

The farm is expected to harvest 1.5 million kilograms of oranges in the run-up to 11.11.

Global fun @ Fliggy

Fliggy is bringing attractive promotions from a number of renowned airline partners, hotel brands and travel rewards alliances.

Tmall world brings promotions to overseas

From free-shipping to referral programs, multi-label concept stores and swift return services, shoppers have opportunities to enjoy special offers and a number of promotions on Tmall World, a platform that aims to connect overseas Chinese consumers worldwide through Alibaba Group’s Chinese-language social commerce apps Mobile Taobao and Taobao Lite.

Experience the “Red Packet Rain”

It’s going to be raining red packets in 100 shopping malls in 12 Chinese key cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Nanjing, Suzhou, Tianjin, Wuhan, Xian, and Chongqing.

Consumers can simply shake their phones to get red packets and earn special promotion coupons by opening the Taobao apps.