Alibaba’s 11.11 Countdown Gala Celebration showcases the future of online shopping.
The world’s largest 24 hour online shopping event held in Shenzhen on November 11th saw sales surpassing 120 billion yuan.
Alibaba showcased the world’s first end-to-end virtual reality shopping experience with a demo of Alibaba Buy+. Shoppers were able to visit eight virtual reality stores, including Macy’s, Target, Costco, P&G and others, with 360-degree views using a 1 yuan cardboard VR headset.
Further innovations from the online shopping giant included augmented reality with a Pokemon style mobile game – Omni-channel Commerce – designed to lure players back into physical retail spaces like KFC, Intime Shopping malls, Suning, Shanghai Disneyland and Starbucks.
Started in 2009 as a way to attract more people to online shopping, the gala event is now a cultural phenomenon, with a stimulus to online sales that surpasses traditional shopping holidays such as Black Friday. Businesses view the event as a testing area for new tech innovations and a’glimpse of tomorrow’s retail’.
A ranking of the five most popular U.S. brands among Chinese consumers during the sale was: Apple, Nike, New Balance, Playboy, Skechers.
It’s not thinking about ourselves as an ordinary company. It’s about thinking of ourselves as an economy
Alibaba Group’s Chairman Jack Ma said, “It’s not thinking about ourselves as an ordinary company. It’s about thinking of ourselves as an economy.” The Alibaba ‘economy’ was the sixth-largest in China last year and is likely to be the 20th-largest in the world this year.