China’s largest shopping craze Double 11 (aka Single’s Day) is set to kick off on November 11th, and the country’s e-commerce giants Alibaba and JD are preparing to get the most our of consumers’ pockets.
Single’s Day this year marks the one-year anniversary of Alibaba’s “New Retail” strategy launch. For JD, this time will be its first Single’s Day shopping spree after JD’s CEO Richard Liu proposed the idea of “the forth retail revolution.” As the two giants are getting ready for Double 11 (双十一), they have rolled out a slew of new strategies. Here are some highlights.
Alibaba this year sheds a heavy light on the high-end luxury sale—a vertical that can bring in huge revenue. Alibaba’s Tmall has reached strategic partnerships with international fashion luxury brands, such as Jason Wu, Opening Ceremony, Robert Geller, as well as some domestic brands like HLA and Anta, just to name a few.
While Tmall remains the most powerful player in the fashion and clothing category, JD is making efforts to keep up and this month launched a new online marketplace dedicated to luxury sales—TOPLIFE. JD said that TOPLIFE is poised to go live on Single’s Day and will provide high-quality packaging and customer service, while the corresponding warehouses in Shanghai have already been set in place.
JD has a long-held advantage in the household appliance category and has partnered with domestic household electronics makers like Midea, Haier, TCL, and Hisense, to roll out new products on Single’s Day and add new manufacturing lines to accommodate the anticipated surging amount of orders.
Tmall, on the other hand, is cooperating with Suning, another leading online marketplace in China. Tmall and Suning has purchased each other’s shares in 2015 in the hope of making up a more beneficial synergy in the online retail sector. The two players are having a more consolidated cooperation for the shopping frenzy this year, combining resources for stocking, customer service, and logistics.
In the online retail sector, synergy appears to be a powerful strategy for players to secure a spot in the battle. JD is partners with Tencent, which holds 20% shares of JD, as well as Walmart, which holds 10% of JD shares. JD, unsurprisingly, will leverage WeChat users’ purchase history for smart recommendations and will provide discounts if the shoppers pay with WeChat Pay. Also, JD and Walmart will combine user accounts so that shoppers can enjoy discounts on both platforms.
It’s also worth noting that JD’s sales push includes offline channels. JD will roll out campaigns in its own physical stores as well as Walmart’s 400 brick-and-mortar stores across the country. To further push out the sales promotion, JD has also joined forces with Jinri Toutiao, Baidu, and NetEase to bring in more online traffic.
The Single’s Day shopping spree can not only test out the operational capacities of the e-commerce giants but also help the firms pocket an overwhelming amount of money. Last year retailers on Alibaba’s platforms recorded RMB 120.7 billion (approximately $ 17.8 billion) worth of gross merchandise volume (GMV) in the 24-hour shopping festival, eclipsing the US$ 2.74 billion generated online during the Black Friday sales in the U.S. in the same year.
Alibaba (the originator of the shopping festival) stood out more in last year’s Singles’ Day. Alibaba’s marketplaces of Taobao and Tmall accounted for 71.2 % of the country’s RMB 169.54 billion total sales during the shopping spree, according to a report from research institute iiMedia. JD, however, ended up taking 19.6% of the total sales last year.