Alibaba and kick off Singles’ Day shopping festival

Date : 26 October 2016

As Singles' Day approaches, ecommerce giants in China, Alibaba and are gearing up for the biggest online shopping day globally, which brought in billions of dollars last year.

Alibaba: more opportunities to engage shoppers globally

Alibaba has extended the 24-hour event to a 24-day online sales extravaganza, running from October 21 to November 13. Alibaba has also revealed its marketing strategy this year, including:

  • Globalisation: Buy globally and sell globally. one of the primary goals is to increase Chinese consumers’ awareness of international brands and retailers, such as Costco and Target. It has expanded the event to Hong Kong and Taiwan, where consumers will be able to buy international products via its online marketplace Tmall.

  • Personalisation: Customers will get personalised search results and product recommendations and brands and retailers are enabled to customise their storefronts, product selection and marketing materials to their shoppers.

  • Interaction: using virtual and augmented reality technology to enhance shopping experience. Alibaba will pilot “Buy ”, a virtual reality shopping experience. Shoppers will be virtually transported to physical stores in another global location and they can simply nod to confirm payment with Alipay to make purchases from the stores. A location-based augmented reality mobile game will be launched to drive traffic from online to the physical stores of Tmall merchants. leveraging partnerships and its logistics system’s shopping festival runs from October 26 to November 12. It is targeting China's 100 million middle-class consumers, supported by its highly-automated logistics network.

  • Automation: aims to increase automation from order to delivery. It runs autonomous warehouses and tested delivery with drones. It will debut its robots for picking and sorting during the shopping festival.

  • Partnerships: partners with more than 100,000 brands and retailers. For example, Walmart and JD have announced initiatives just ahead of Singles' Day that could help boost sales for both retailers, including a Sam's Club flagship store on, a Walmart Global Imports Store on JD Worldwide, and a two-hour grocery delivery service from over 20 Walmart stores in China. The alliance with Walmart could help compete with Alibaba.

We expect a new record in sales this year, with the extended sales period, more ways to engage shoppers and new partnerships.


Shirley Zhu, Programme Director, IGD Singapore

Based in Singapore, Shirley heads up all of IGD's research on Southeast Asia. Contact Shirley at [email protected] for further insight on the region.


To learn more about Alibaba and’s strategies, check out their presentations at our Online and Digital Summit.

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To read about Walmart and’s partnership, please click here.