Alibaba’s premier B2C e-commerce platform Tmall has kicked off its 6.18 Mid-Year Shopping Festival hoping to tap into the post-COVID-19 shutdown as the Chinese government attempts to stimulate local demand.

According to the company, twice as many brands will participate in the event as last year. Following kickoff, GMV in the first ten hours was 50 per cent higher over the same period last year during the campaign.

Already there has been a doubling of sales in categories such as cosmetics, home appliances, computer notebooks and electric cars.

“Online consumption has seen a post-pandemic revival since March, and the sales rebound that we have observed on Taobao and Tmall has been very encouraging,” said Liu Bo, vice president of Alibaba Group and general manager of Tmall and Taobao marketing and operations.

The global pandemic stalled the world’s economy and dampened China’s consumption. But recent figures show an economy on the mend, and consumption is expected to pick up on bullishness about China’s prospects, according to a report from research firm McKinsey.

Global shopping

The company claims global travel restrictions has made Tmall Global the principal gateway for global brands to access the China market. More than 25,000 brands from 92 countries and regions offering over 400,000 new products are participating this year.

The number of new brands participating from Tmall Global increased by 64 per cent year-over-year. Close to 180 luxury brands are participating this year, nearly double the amount from 2019 11.11

Global Shopping Festival. Burberry, Montblanc, Cartier and Michael Kors are offering customized special edition items co-created with Tmall just for 6.18. Coach, MCM and Theory are participating in the campaign for the first time, and all recently launched outlets on Tmall Luxury Soho.

Apple, meanwhile is offering special promotions on a range of products, including the new iPhone 11, exclusively through its flagship store on Tmall. GMV of iPhone sales surpassed RMB 500 million within the first five hours of the event.

Imported fresh food and other signature delicacies from Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Chile and Russia will be offered for the first time via their country flagship stores on Tmall. The Netherlands and Hokkaido, Japan are scheduled to open their respective country flagship stores in June.

Virtual Shopping Using Livestreaming and 3D This year, Taobao Live is welcoming over 300 celebrities and 600 brand executives to engage directly with consumers in real-time. Over 10,000 physical retail stores will also be livestreaming to promote their products. Taobao Special Offer Edition will also roll out live streaming functions during 6.18, enabling manufacturers to promote consumer-to-manufacturer (C2M) products and driving consumer engagement.

Livestreaming played a vital role for many brands during the height of the outbreak. The overall sales result generated by liverstreaming has already increased significantly from last year.

The GMV generated through Taobao Live hit RMB 5.1 billion in the first day. More than 1,000 brands, merchants and live streamers achieved GMV worth RMB 10 million. Tmall and over 100 furniture sellers, such as IKEA, Kohler, KUKA, QuanU and Linshimuye, will launch a 3D shopping feature, allowing customers to “see” how the furniture fits into their homes.

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