Alibaba’s double 11 shopping festival kicked off on Oct. 21, and is off to a strong start.
In the first 10 minutes alone, sales directed from Taobao Live, the live-streaming portal of the shopping site, surpassed that of the first day last year. Cosmetics stood out among all types of goods as 12 cosmetic products each recorded more than 100 million yuan sales in the first hour.
Top live-streamers Jiaqi Li and Weiya made consequential contributions —— Li started at 6 p.m. on Oct. 20 and live-streamed until 2 a.m. the next morning, during which he presented 126 products. His rival Weiya also livestreamed for more than 7 hours and presented 149 items. In the wee hours of Oct. 21, the two accounted for 300 million viewers combined. It is estimated the combined gross merchandise value (GMV) of Li and Weiya reached 1 billion yuan during that time.
Taobao Live has drawn some attention with its sterling performances, reaching 400 million users in 2019 with a 2 trillion yuan yearly GMV. On double 11 in 2019, Taobao Live reached 20 billion yuan GMV.
In addition to some intricate rules for money-saving that many complained to be difficult to follow, Taobao upped its game this year by adding three more days, Nov. 1 to Nov. 3, for people to participate in the shopping festival in advance, rather than saving all the discounted purchases for Nov. 11. This change means customers can get their deliveries 10 days earlier than previous years.
Taobao CEO Fan Jiang attributed the extension to a significant growth in the number of consumers this year. An estimated 800 million people will participate in the shopping festival this year, 300 million more than last year. A longer duration provides a better shopping experience for costumers too, Jiang said. People are less stressed when they have more time and merchants have more time to handle mass transactions and deliveries and provide better service.