Alibaba Unveils 11-11 Promotions 11 Days Early

Ahead of China’s annual Global Shopping Festival on Nov. 11, eCommerce giant Alibaba has announced a variety of retail promotions, events and deals for Chinese shoppers.

According to news from The Street, the festival — also known as 11.11 — has attracted more than 100,000 participating merchants since it launched in 2009. Last year, consumers spent $17.79 billion during the 24-hour period.

This year, there will be over 140,000 brands with 15 million product listings — and more than 60,000 non-Chinese brands will sell their goods on Alibaba.

In anticipation of the Global Shopping Festival, Alibaba has scheduled a variety of events and retail promotions. Its Taobao mobile app will feature a game called “Catch the Cat,” where online shoppers will visit its physical locations to catch an augmented reality cat and win special discounts. There will be other interactive games that Chinese shoppers can play as a team, and once your team spends a certain amount, you win discounts and coupons.

Alibaba will also host a four-hour fashion show broadcast across seven TV and online channels in China. “Viewers can become consumers on the spot and immediately buy what they see in the fashion show, regardless of which platform they choose,” said a company statement.

During the event, the company will partner with 52 shopping malls to open 60 pop-up stores across China. And nearly 100,000 stores in 31 provinces will be converted to “smart stores” with high-tech shopping features, including facial recognition payment scanning.