Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s Xunxi digital factory has participated in the annual Double 11 shopping festival for the first time.
Xunxi will provide several merchants with consumer insights to help them better predict the market demand for their products. This also gives them room to decide what to produce and at what volumes a few days before the shopping festival.
This year, consumers can buy apparel jointly produced by Xunxi and Tmall merchant Chumian. Alibaba said the digital factory is able to fulfill orders within seven days, depending on the amount of pre-sales.
Consumers will receive custom-made clothing and merchants will achieve zero inventory. The whole process from production to delivery takes just 10 days, according to Alibaba.
In the past, participating merchants prepared their inventories long before the shopping festival, relying on historic sales figures. In this way, Xunxi has helped merchants address their inventory concerns.
Xunxi digital factory, as part of Alibaba’s New Manufacturing strategy, was unveiled in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province on Sept. 16. And on Oct. 28, the second Xunxi factory began operations in Suzhou, Anhui Province in eastern China.
Alibaba said that manufacturing is a very complex traditional industry and they are trying to understand the rules of this industry, so they have built a few factories. And different industrial parks solve different problems, such as the transfer algorithm between production lines, cross-factory management and cross-regional scheduling.
Supported by four pillars – cloud-edge infrastructure, end-to-end data connection capabilities, an AI-driven decision-making hub and customer-centric manufacturing services, Xunxi is a demand-driven manufacturing model that aims to empower small and medium enterprises to respond quickly to shining trends and meet the growing demand among consumers for personalized goods.
The Xunxi Digital Factory plan had been kept secret for three years.
Since its inception, the factory has collaborated with Taobao and Tmall merchants, livestreaming broadcasters and streetwear designers to explore and experiment with new possibilities of apparel manufacturing.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. kicked off its Double 11 Global Shopping Festival on Tuesday.
With new innovations and features, Alibaba wants to boost consumer engagement for online and offline merchants as well as new and old brands, hoping to drive the largest spike in consumption since the pandemic.