BEIJING – China's weakening economy, weakening consumer sentiment and trade battles with the US will not damage Singel Day for
Alibaba Group Holding
, who will try a number of new tricks to ensure the 10th edition of his shopping extravaganza sets a sales record.
This event serves as a reminder for consumer product companies and Alibaba power investors to move merchandise. Last year, the company posted a record $ 25.3 billion in sales for Singles Day – exceeding $ 19.6 billion that Americans dropped last year in five days from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday.
But when the megasale starts at 12 am on November 11, at a bargain price on Burberry headscarves, New Balance shoes, and even Buick, many consumers will turn around.
A new survey from consulting firm Oliver Wyman shows that China's 38% of the millennium – the core buyer group for Alibaba – plans to spend less this year. Overall, the survey said, 30% of buyers plan to spend less this year.
Zheng Miao, 48, from Chengdu said he usually spends hundreds of dollars on Singles every year, likes clothes and household items. This year, there is only one thing on the list: entertainer.
"I just want to be careful about buying things I don't need," said Zheng, who owns a hot pot restaurant. "I have bought a lot of items during & # 39; Double Eleven & # 39; which I never used. They just sit in a pile in an unopened house. "
Alibaba's volume of gross merchandise – the value of the business transacted on its site – soars every year on Singles Day.
Alibaba sales on Single Day
Despite such harsh sentiment, Alibaba faces annual pressure to reach a record the previous year, said business consultant and author Duncan Clark.
"It's almost like Frankenstein," said Mr. Clark. Alibaba "does not fully anticipate what will happen."
Singles Day began as a tongue-in-cheek holiday celebrating the lonely day of young Chinese hearts. His Chinese name – "Single Sticks Holiday" – comes from the date: November 11, or 11-11.
Alibaba Chief Executive Daniel Zhang, credited with the idea of turning it into a shopping opportunity, said Singles Day was originally understood as a way to "make small businesses grow faster."
"Towards the first 11-11 for us, it's just about survival," he said in an interview, published by Alibaba.
A decade later, online shopping has become so integrated in everyday life that people don't need too many incentives to buy online. At a recent event in Beijing, Zhang said shopping must evolve.
"In the next five or 10 years, there will be new forms of the internet, there will be a new way of life, there will be new services," Zhang said. "This is & # 39; Double Eleven & # 39; we – which we can learn from the last 10 years, but also face the future."
young / epa-efe / rex / shutterstock / EPA / Shutterstock
To make sure it beat last year's sales record, Alibaba tried several new tricks.
For the first time, Alibaba's supermarket network, Hema, and
-like the online platform Koubei will run the Singles Day promotion. Its food delivery service, Ele.me, will also offer discounts, including selling a limited amount
cold coffee for 1 yuan, or around 14 cents.
About 200,000 stores across China will have a QR code that buyers can buy to search for offers online, double the amount that was distributed last year.
In another company, Lazada Group, a Singapore-based e-commerce subsidiary, will aggressively push the Singles Day with its first 11-11 shopping promotion in six Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines and Malaysia.
Transactions remain at the heart of promotion. Discounts for around 500,000 items are rolled out during the pre-sales period that starts on October 20. Buick has received orders for 7,000 cars and hotel chains such as
Hilton Worldwide Holdings
has received advanced bookings for 350,000 a night, Alibaba said Thursday.
Other items available on the Tmall shopping platform: Whirlpool refrigerators and washing machines are discounted by more than 40% to the equivalent of around $ 3,160 and hospital-style beds that sell a third of their regular prices.
Apart from discounts, Singles Day is also a star-studded spectacle. Alibaba throws gala Saturday night in Shanghai which will be broadcast live on two television channels. Thousands of participants will watch Cirque du Soleil appear and celebrities including Australian model Miranda Kerr and singer Coco Lee will attend.
– Xiao Xiao in Beijing contributed to this article.
Write to Shan Li at [email protected]