First launched in 2009 and held annually on November 11, Alibaba’s 11.11 Shopping Festival is the largest online sale in China. The year 2021 marks the 13th year for the Festival, with sustainability and inclusiveness as its major themes.
“Over the last 12 years, 11.11 has showcased the tremendous consumption power of Chinese consumers and pushed boundaries for the global retail sector,” said Chris Tung, Chief Marketing Officer of Alibaba Group. “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.”
This is the first time for sustainability to become the Festival’s focus. Alibaba is going to issue 100 million yuan worth of “green” vouchers to incentivize shopping decisions that contribute to an environmentally friendly lifestyle.
Alibaba’s logistics arm Cainiao Network will introduce package recycling across 10,000 Cainiao Post Stations in 20 cities to reduce the sales event’s carbon footprint, and consumers who participate in the event will receive fresh eggs as rewards. The Festival will also introduce the “green signature” for products verified as energy-saving, organic or environmentally friendly.
The other theme this year is “inclusiveness”, for which Alibaba‘s Taobao app introduced a “senior mode” option, a feature designed to make the user interface more accessible for senior citizens. It offers voice-assisted technology, simplified navigation, and larger font sizes and icons.
Alibaba’s “Goods for Good” program will allow merchants to donate a portion of their sales to charitable organizations of their choice, while consumers can support their favourite charitable causes through their own purchases. This year, consumers are encouraged to share their “Goods for Good” purchases with their friends, and Alibaba will make a 1 yuan donation for every successful social media share.
According to Alibaba, elderly citizens living in solitude, “left-behind children” in remote areas, and low-income workers will be the major beneficiaries of this year’s “Goods for Good” program.
Last year, the 11.11 Shopping Festival attracted 250,000 brands and more than 800 million consumers, generating approximately $56 billion in sales. With a record 290,000 brands involved, this year marks the largest Festival to date, with Alibaba-backed shopping platform Tmall expected to offer more than 14 million deals to over 900 million consumers in China.