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This is the first in our series Countdown to 11.11. Also known as Double 11 or Singles’ Day, 11.11 is a now famous shopping festival started by Alibaba that takes place on November 11. This report series will cover the various shopping festivals and developments in New Retail that take place between now and November 11.

  • When it comes to online shopping festivals in China, the first one that comes to mind is the Double 11 Shopping Festival. The success of the first-ever 11.11 event, led to many more shopping festivals held throughout the year. 
  • Alibaba’s latest shopping event is the Auto Lifestyle Festival on July 23–25, a promotional activity for auto parts products, with discounts as steep as 80% on offer.
  • Next on the calendar is Alibaba’s 88 Members Festival held August 1–8, which features exclusive discounts on products for its 88 Members, a gala performance and VIP shopping sessions for members.
  • Korean cosmetics brand Innisfree and Alibaba’s Tmall have teamed up and transformed a store in Hangzhou into a New Retail concept store—Innisfree x Tmall store—replete with New Retail technologies where customers get a feel for the Innisfree brand through games, entertainment, education and personalized offerings.

Countdown to 11.11

When it comes to online shopping festivals in China, the first one that comes to mind is Alibaba’s now famous Double 11 Shopping Festival. The success of the first-ever 11.11 event led to many more shopping festivals held throughout the year, notably, Women’s Day on March 8, the 618 Shopping Festival and the 88 Members Festival on August 8. 

This report is the first in our Countdown to 11.11 series that will cover all the various shopping festivals as well as developments in New Retail that take place between now and November 11.    

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Upcoming Festivals

Auto Parts Lifestyle Festival 

Alibaba launched its Auto Lifestyle Festival on July 23–25 to promote auto parts products such as driving recorders, child safety seats, seat cushions, navigation systems, oil additives, car washes, tires and other auto parts products. During the promotion period, participating auto parts brands such as Ruika, Xbbeer, BSR, G.Energy and Zesheng will be giving consumers cash coupons.
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Many products are sold at discounts as steep as 80% off. Chinese Brand 360’s driving recorder sells for ¥319–¥489, a discount of more than 80% off the original price of ¥1,999–¥2,699. Rongli Waterproof car covers sell for ¥79, 80% off the original price of ¥399, and as of July 24, over 34,000 units have been sold.

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Preview to the 88 Members Festival

First launched in 2017, Alibaba’s 88 Members Festival will take place August 1–8 this year. Pronounced in Chinese, “88” is a homonym of “baba,” as in Alibaba. The 88 Members Festival will feature exclusive discounts on products, a gala performance and VIP shopping sessions for members. 

The different membership programs across Alibaba’s various platforms—Tmall, Taobao, Alitrip (travel booking website) and Taopiaopiao (online box office)—have been integrated into one “88 Membership,” enabling a more accurate customer profile. Alibaba can better understand and analyze each member’s shopping behavior and preferences in order to customize touch points throughout the shopping journey to better target content and product recommendations. At the same time, consumers can enjoy a seamless membership program across Alibaba’s different platforms as well as its partners. Alibaba has been partnering with brands such as global hospitality company Marriott International to link with its 88 Membership loyalty program.

What’s New in New Retail?

Innisfree Unveils Its “Innisfree x Tmall New Retail Store” in China

Korean cosmetics brand Innisfree and Alibaba’s Tmall have teamed up and transformed a store inside the Li Xing Shopping Plaza in Hangzhou, China into a New Retail concept store—Innisfree x Tmall store—replete with New Retail technologies where customers get a feel for the Innisfree brand through games, entertainment, education and personalized offerings.

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Together with Tmall, the store has introduced several New Retail features:

  • Magic Mirrors: Mirrors in the store utilize augmented-reality (AR) technology that allows consumers to experiment with different makeup virtually. Customers can even scan the QR code in the mirror to make the purchase in-store or order from Innisfree’s flagship store on Tmall.
  • Smart Skin Analyzer: By placing the high-precision camera on different parts of the face, the device analyzes the images and instantaneously generates a detailed report of one’s skin condition. It also recommends which Innisfree products are best suited to that skin type. A scan of a QR code lets customers to keep the report in their Taobao account.
  • Vending Machine: Customers can scan a QR code and purchase a face mask at a steep discount using the Mobile Taobao app.
  • Smart Shelf: When a customer picks up a product from the sensor-equipped shelf, product details pop up on a touchscreen. This allows customers to learn more about the product before buying.
  • Cloud Shelf: The cloud shelf allows customers to see all the products available on the Innisfree Tmall flagship store on Tmall, in addition to the physical display at the brick-and-mortar location. This technology is most suitable for stores with limited space.
  • AR Interactive Photo Booth: Innisfree’s members can take photos through the AR interactive big screen with its brand ambassadors, popular Chinese boy band Nine Percent.
  • Claw Crane: By scanning the QR code on the machine, visitors can opt to participate in Innisfree’s membership program and win three tries at grabbing a free sample

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