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Alibaba’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, also known as Double 11 or Singles’ Day, takes place on November 11 every year and it has become the world’s biggest 24-hour online sale. This is the penultimate report in our series covering the various shopping festivals and developments in New Retail in the lead up to this year’s Double 11.

  • Beauty and personal care was the top-selling category on Tmall in the pre-sales period, October 20–22, according to ECdataway data.
  • ECdataway ranked 3C (computer, communication, and consumer electronics) products and home appliances as the second-highest-selling category in Tmall’s pre-sales chart. Based on its performance during last year’s Double 11, this category is likely to register a rise in sales. 
  • In the October 10–17 Shanghai Fashion Week this year, Tmall showcased clothing-simulation technology that lets customers virtually view and try on clothes. 

The Double 11 Global Shopping Festival Is Nearing

We are now just 10 days away from Double 11, also known as Singles’ Day and 11.11. The shopping extravaganza is held every year on November 11 and has become the benchmark of Chinese consumption. This is the penultimate report in our series reviewing all that is happening in the prelude to this year’s Double 11.

Beauty and Personal Care Category Tops Tmall’s Pre-Sales Chart 

ECdataway is a data company that leverages data-mining technologies to collect sales data from e-commerce platforms in China. The company collected data on selected sellers in nine different categories on Tmall in the period October 20–22. Despite the narrow window of only three days, the data collected gives an idea of the categories’ relative importance and their momentum on Tmall. 

According to the company’s research, beauty and personal care was the top-selling category on Tmall and registered sales worth ¥3.09 billion (US$443.1 million)—up 127.7% year over year—in the period analysed. 3C products and home appliances saw sales worth ¥2.96 billion (US$424.5 million) in the period October 20–22 and was a close second in Tmall’s pre-sales chart.

Within beauty and personal care, colour cosmetics will see good a performance in China, according to market research firm Mintel, which projects that this segment will reach US$ 5.1 billion in China in 2018. The market research and consulting firm Hexa Research also expects the color cosmetics segment to keep going strong and reach US$ 6.81 billion by 2025. Within the cosmetics category, male beauty product is one of the fast growing segments. Total sales of male beauty products in China grew 59% and 54% in fiscal years 2017 and 2018, respectively, according to the Tmall Innovation Center (TMIC) and the L’Oréal China Consumer Intelligence.

Six out of the ten top sellers on Tmall during last year’s Double 11 were from the 3C products and home appliances category, and they were: Suning flagship store, Xiaomi flagship store, Honor (a part of Huawei) flagship store, Haier flagship store, Sharp flagship store, and Midea flagship store. 

According to Tmall, new product sales account for 70% of all 3C products sales. The online platform reported that it presented 550,000 new products in the first half of 2018 and this number will increase to 600,000 in the second. Tmall General Manager, 3C Digital Business Department, commented that brands cannot stay competitive if they do not introduce new products. 

What’s New in New Retail?

Tmall’s Clothing-Simulation Technology Enables Virtual Fitting

In the October 10–17 Shanghai Fashion Week this year, Tmall showcased clothing-simulation technology that lets customers virtually view and try on clothes. 

Customers can choose a garment at the simulator (in the form of a kiosk) to drape clothing items in motion and zoom in to examine their textures and details. The simulator can also display clothes on a virtual model and customers can then adjust the model measurements, such as height and waist-size, to match their own. Customers can also use the Tmall or Taobao app to watch a virtual runway show and watch recordings of live streams straight from the fashion week.

Investments and Acquisitions in New Retail

To expand their New Retail capacities, Alibaba, Tencent and JD.com have invested in logistics firms, online marketplaces, content creation companies, brick-and-mortar stores, etc. Listed in Figures 3, 4 and 5 are recent investments of and acquisitions by these companies, along with investment dates, investees and the industry segments they are in, and funding details.

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