Alibaba Group’s annual 11.11 Global Shopping Festival launched today with a focus on sustainability and inclusiveness.
In its 13th year, 2021 marks the largest festival in the event’s history, expected to reach 900 million consumers in China. There is a record 290,000 participating brands and Tmall is offering more than 14 million deals.
This has grown from just 27 merchants in the first 11.11 Global Shopping Festival in 2009.
According to Maggie Zhou, Managing Director of Alibaba Group, Australia and New Zealand, “As the event becomes more mature and established, it is crucial for us to focus on building on existing value systems and giving back to the community, which is why we’ve chosen to implement a number of new initiatives to promote sustainability and inclusiveness.”
Alibaba has increased its use of green technology for this year’s festival, and has partnered with brands championing sustainable action, through lower carbon footprints, and using recyclable, plastic-free packaging.
One example of sustainable action by a partner brand is Cainiao Network, Alibaba’s logists arm who introduced package cycling in 10,000 station across 20 cities.
According to Zhou, “This year’s Festival is one of the largest opportunities for Australian businesses to reach consumers in China.”
The company claims that a number of new and existing Australian brands will be featured as part of their goal to boost merchant growth and foster relationships. Previous festivals have seen a number of local brands rank among the top sellers globally during 11.11, including global wellness brand Swisse and nutritional health and supplement company BioIsland.
In an effort to provide accessibility to senior citizens, Taobao has introduced a “senior mode” feature, with a simplified interface including larger font sizes and voice assisted technology.
The company says, “The app homepage also offers games for elderly users to unlock special discounts for groceries, making the experience more engaging for the silver generation.”
11.11 will leverage live streaming technology to better engage Chinese consumers and Taobao Live will feature 700 celebrities and brand representatives in livestream sessions as well as features encouraging uses to share their “shopping cart” items socially.