Taobao and Tmall are stepping up their offerings for consumers outside of China’s biggest cities for the annual 6.18 Shopping Festival.
The 6.18 Shopping Festival isn’t really an Alibaba festival, they created the 11.11 Single’s Day event on the 11th of November each year. 6.18 is the celebration of their arch rivals JD.com who were founded in June and the mid year festival belongs to them. However, just as Amazon Prime Day in the west now sparks a rash of retailer sales to cash in on the success of Prime Day in July, Alibaba can’t afford to ignore the birthday of their rival and have embraced 18.6 as a shopping festival.
Running from the 1st to the 18th of June, Alibaba’s midyear sales event has been tailored to help over 200,000 brands, retailers and merchants tap into China’s smaller cities and rural areas, including the launch of 1.5 million new products and Alibaba’s “Daily Deals.”
The deals are a part of an initiative that enables factories in China to sell directly to consumers with real-time insights and technical support provided by Alibaba, and manufacturers plan to release 100,000 promotional items throughout the event, the marketplace said.
The goal is to give less-developed markets easier access to reasonably priced, high-quality goods, while offering brands the engagement tools and consumer insights to help them better meet their demands, such as the flash sales channel Juhuasuan or livestreaming tools on Taobao Live.
“In addition to rising discretionary spending, consumers in China’s less-developed regions are becoming more-sophisticated shoppers who are looking for lifestyle upgrades. This increased consumption potential could mean bright prospects for our merchants. People in these areas might have less access to physical shopping facilities than those in big cities, and this year we are working closely with our partners to address their needs and offer them the same good-quality products on our platforms with innovative and fun programs.”
– Jiang Fan, president, Taobao and Tmall
The 2019 6.18 Shopping Festival has had a strong start, in the first hour of sales, gross merchandise volume exceeded the GMV of the first 10 hours last year. In less than 12 hours, it surpassed last year’s full-day figure.
Major brands, such as Apple, Nike, Adidas, L’Oréal and Lancôme, each notched over RMB 100 million in sales in the first hour, with Apple hitting that mark in as fast as two minutes and 45 seconds. Nike followed with four minutes. Other brands also beat last year’s sales within the first hour, including Italian fashion brand Marni in only one minute, Listerine in 6 minutes, Dickies in 20 minutes and British brand Dyson in 25 minutes.