For the first time in its 12-year history, e-commerce giant Alibaba is expanding the 11/11 Global Shopping Festival – the world’s largest retail event – by dividing it into two phases. Advance sales begin on October 21st. The JD.com platform has planned its own four-stage 11/11 campaign from October 21st to November 13th.

Eleven months after the coronavirus was first discovered in Wuhan, this is the latest sign that life is largely back to normal in China as masks and social distancing are no longer required, and shops and restaurants, according to Amie Song, Senior Research Specialist at Gartner, are crowded again.

However, the impact remains as brands and retailers seek to recover from the pandemic by doubling on Singles Day 2020, added Xiaofeng Wang, senior analyst at Forrester. She said the first phase of Alibaba’s Singles Day sale, which will take place November 1-3, will focus on new brands, new products and exclusive items.

“This would make Phase One an additional growth driver to ensure a better Double 11 than ever,” she said.

In fact, Alibaba expects 250,000 brands and 800 million buyers to participate. Wang’s numbers also expect 5 million third-party vendors this year as Alibaba has been actively soliciting small and medium-sized businesses – including US companies.

This means that unlike the US records for Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday, which are expected to last at least another year, Alibaba should break the record of $ 38.4 billion on Singles Day 2019.

“There is strong optimism in China as it is believed that it will win the fight against Covid and that society will be protected,” said Henrik Saetre, growth leader at the Chinese advertising platform AdChina.io. “And to celebrate, consumers are definitely ready for retail therapy.”

Wang agreed that Alibaba will cross the $ 39 billion mark in part because it is also extending the event, much like Amazon has done with Prime Day over the years.

“The second phase [of Alibaba’s Singles Day event on Nov. 11] is more routine, but China’s economy has rebounded strongly and Chinese consumer buying behavior has already returned to, if not higher, preandemic levels, especially online, ”she added.

Vengeance consumer (shopping)

The buyers in China certainly have an appetite to treat themselves to something good. This is exactly what college students intended in 1993 when they started the anti-Valentine’s Day movement called Singles Day. (You picked November 11 because it’s a single date. Alibaba stuck to it in 2009 to sell coats, and the rest is history.)

For example, when the Hermès flagship reopened in Guangzhou on April 11th, daily sales reportedly hit $ 2.7 million. In June, JD.com sold 269.2 billion yuan ($ 40 billion) during the mid-year sale known as 6.18, which has been going on since 2004. Alibaba reportedly sold 698.2 billion yuan ($ 104.6 billion) in merchandise during its own 6.18 sale.

It’s a concept known as “revenge shopping”. And after strong results on dates like 6:18 am, Geraldine Cheung, General Manager of GroupM’s luxury agency L’Atelier, said, “Without a doubt, I would expect this willingness to spend to carry over into the Double 11 season.”

Tmall expects 2 million new products to be introduced

Song also predicts sales will exceed $ 39 billion as more brands offer discounts and launch new products, particularly on Alibaba’s Tmall B-to-C platform.

In fact, Alibaba expects more than 2 million new products to be launched there, twice as many as last year.

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