Over the last decade Alibaba Group has built the annual 11.11 shopping festival into the largest shopping event of the year.
Last year’s gross merchandise volume, which reached $30.8 billion, outstripped the online revenues of US retail’s biggest shopping holiday – from Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday to Cyber Monday – combined.
Expanded 11.11 Countdown Gala Celebration
The 11.11 shopping festival kicks off with a high energy variety show called the 11.11 Countdown Gala Celebration, which runs in the hours leading up to the world’s biggest shopping day of the year.
For 2019 Alibaba Group wants to expand the reach of its annual 11.11 Countdown Gala Celebration to markets around the world.
At the first official press conference for the 2019 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, held Friday in Hangzhou, Alibaba said it aimed to broadcast the Gala on about 10 cable networks in China, Southeast Asia, Africa and North America.
Global reach and longer broadcast
While the Gala broadcast in Southeast Asia last year, Alibaba said that 2019 will be the first time the event will reach a truly global audience.
Alibaba also plans to lengthen the show, starting in the afternoon rather than 8 pm.
Participating overseas networks have yet to be confirmed. However, the ecommerce giant said the new daytime segment will be shown exclusively on Youku and China’s Zhejiang TV and Dragon TV.
Just as in previous years, Alibaba will deliver interactive experiences for the audience and opportunities for brands to engage with consumers during the broadcast, the company said.
“The gala is extremely valuable, capable of bringing in conversion and brand impressions that far exceed any period in the campaign. All of the energy, attention and emotions of consumers are concentrated within those few hours leading up to midnight.”
Liu Bo, GM of Alibaba’s marketing-platform business and lead for this year’s 11.11
Behind those transactions and conversion rates are new emotional connections built between brands and consumers, said Yvonne Zhang, vice president of Alibaba’s digital marketing arm Alimama.
“Just like any other form of content, the gala is a space for brands to engage and learn about their customers. The value of that interaction stretches beyond the gala into the long term.”
Yvonne Zhang, vice president of Alibaba’s digital marketing arm Alimama
Alibaba Group Countdown Gala is a red-carpet event
Since its inception in 2015, the countdown gala has become a red-carpet event featuring celebrities from around the world.
Big-name talent such as Nicole Kidman, Scarlett Johansson, Mariah Carey and Pharrell Williams to sports stars such as David Beckham, Maria Sharapova and Kobe Bryant have participated in previous years.
For 2019, Alibaba has not announced the line-up for this year’s event but Alibaba promises to deliver a lasting experience.
“This year, we want to bring [the audience] a lasting experience, to create a ‘classic’ show that would stay in the memories of this generation.”
Robert Lin, VP of Youku and the producer of the 11.11 Countdown Gala Celebration