Alibaba Group has announced the beginning of this year’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival. In its 13th annual year, the 2021 edition is the largest to date, with 290,000 brands participating in the two sales windows during November. Last year, the event generated $74.1 billion in gross merchandise volume (GMV). This year will feature a sales window from November 1 to 3 and on November 11, during the main event of the festival.
With a focus on sustainability and inclusiveness, this year's 11.11 Global Shopping Festival aims to support vulnerable populations. As part of the initiative, the Taobao app introduced a senior mode option that simplifies the user interface to encourage accessibility for senior citizens.
It includes voice-assisted technology, larger font sizes and icons and simplified navigation. The app homepage also offers games for elderly users to unlock special discounts for groceries.
Taobao Live will feature 700 leading key-opinion leaders, celebrities and brand representatives in Livestream sessions throughout the festival. Taobao will also roll out a new feature for users to share their shopping cart items with friends and family.
Alibaba is promoting its Goods for Goods program enabling merchants and consumers to donate a portion of sales to charitable organizations. Donations from this year’s festival will provide support to three major beneficiary groups: elderly citizens living in solitude, left-behind children in remote areas and low-income workers.
Alibaba will make an RMB1 donation for every Goods for Good purchase shared on social media.
As part of the event, Tmall is offering more than 14 million deals to over 900 million consumers in China. The brand will also feature a vertical dedicated to energy-efficient and low-impact products and green vouchers to incentivize shopping toward an environmentally friendly lifestyle.
Cainiao Network will introduce package recycling across 10,000 Cainiao Post Stations in 20 cities to reduce the festival’s carbon footprint beginning. Alibaba expects to further reduce the carbon emission per order during this year’s 11.11.
Chris Tung, chief marketing officer of Alibaba Group, says, “Over the last 12 years, 11.11 has showcased the tremendous consumption power of Chinese consumers and pushed boundaries for the global retail sector. This year’s festival marks a new chapter for 11.11. We believe we must leverage the power of 11.11 to encourage sustainable development and promote inclusiveness to consumers, merchants and partners across our ecosystem.”